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Cablegate: Brazil and the Forest 11 Statement: Primarily a Political

VZCZCXRO4200
OO RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1918 2821103
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 091103Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0142
INFO RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5209
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0922
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7200
RUEHWH/WESTERN HEMISPHERIC AFFAIRS DIPL POSTS
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0182
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0658

UNCLAS BRASILIA 001918

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG ENRG TNGD TRGY KSCA BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL AND THE FOREST 11 STATEMENT: PRIMARILY A POLITICAL
GESTURE

REFTEL: 2006 BRASILIA 2661

1. (U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. On September 24, 2007 leaders from eleven
Tropical Rainforest Countries (the Forest 11) issued a joint
statement calling for, inter alia, cooperation to slow, stop and
reverse deforestation and for greater international recognition of
these efforts as a means to combat climate change. On its face, the
statement appears to indicate a unified stance among the Forest 11
with an eye toward the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Bali. However, while the Forest
11 states appear to share a common view that a global scheme to
address deforestation should be part of any discussions aimed at
combating global climate change, the group has not reached a
consensus on what such a scheme would entail does not exist. The
GOB is at least one participant in the Forest 11 that holds
diverging views with some of the other participants. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) On October 4, 2007, ESTH Officer contacted Paulo Jose
Chiarelli, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Exterior Relations'
(MRE) Division for Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development,
to discuss the Forest 11 initiative and to learn more about the
Government of Brazil's (GOB) role as a participant. According to
Chiarelli, the GOB agreed to support the Indonesian initiated Forest
11 joint statement [along with Cameroon, Colombia, Congo, Costa
Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Papua New Guinea, and Peru] at the eleventh hour. It was not
particularly difficult for the GOB to join the group, especially due
to the decision among participant governments to highlight their
similarities, rather than to debate differences and details. In
this regard, he emphasized that to the GOB the statement definitely
is not a "coalition" or a group aiming to table a specific proposal
in the upcoming meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) in Bali in December and beyond. Chiarelli said the
GOB considers the statement to be a non-binding political statement
and not one meant to be a mandate or common negotiating roadmap.

4. (SBU) To this end, Chiarelli explained that by signing the
statement, the GOB wanted to accomplish at least two goals: 1) show
support for Indonesia during its UNFCCC COP 13 Presidency, and; 2)
ensure that compensated deforestation reduction as a means to combat
climate change is adequately credited under a global climate change
framework and addressed in a way that fosters economic development.

5. (SBU) The GOB does not, Chiarelli emphasized, agree with the
entirety of the Forest 11 statement on the strategies and mechanisms
for achieving this latter goal. For example, he said that Costa
Rica's desire to include a cap and trade market system in
deforestation reduction efforts is not acceptable to the GOB at this
time. (Note: the GOB has made its position clear in this regard in
the past and more recently by not participating in deforestation
reduction talks among Latin American countries held in Santiago,
Chile in August, 2007. End note). The GOB would similarly disagree
with other countries that are in line with Costa Rica. Instead, the
GOB continues to tout its purely voluntary compensated deforestation
reduction proposal and continues to refine its details (reftel).
While it does support new funding for these efforts, Chiarelli
pointed out that the GOB refers to this new funding as "mechanisms"
or "positive incentives" and does not necessarily support the
creation of a new international fund.

6. (SBU) COMMENT. The GOB's participation in the Forest 11 joint
statement is generally in line with its view to obtain financial
incentives for reducing the rate of deforestation. In this regard
the Forest 11 appears to share a common perspective. However, the
GOB believes that to assure continued economic development these
efforts should be voluntary and free of market intrusions, and its
inability to convince at least some of the Forest 11 that the GOB
proposal is paramount also appears to show that it is not likely
that the Forest 11 will come to Bali with a common approach to
reducing deforestation as a means to combat climate change. END
COMMENT.

CHICOLA

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