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Cablegate: Bolivia Request for Eeb Fy08 Biotech Funds

VZCZCXRO9874
PP RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLP #0315/01 0461824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 151824Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY LA PAZ
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6455
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 7596
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4965
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 8870
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 6085
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3305
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN 0589
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3520
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 3858
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 5241
RUEHPO/AMEMBASSY PARAMARIBO 0271
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 5934
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0551
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0910
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 LA PAZ 000315

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/TPP/ABT JFINN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG EAGR ECON SENV BL
SUBJECT: BOLIVIA REQUEST FOR EEB FY08 BIOTECH FUNDS

REF: A. LA PAZ 2928

B. LIMA 226


BACKGROUND
----------

1. Post appreciates the opportunity to request funding for
agricultural biotech initiatives and the chance to work with
Embassy Peru and the OES Hub in South America to explore the
issues facing biofuel development in the two Andean nations.
Both Bolivia and Peru hold great promise as producers of
biofuels. Both countries contain large areas of arable land,
favorable climates, rural employment needs, and
infrastructure amenable to transportation of fuels to Pacific
ports (Bolivia through an under-used petroleum pipeline per
Ref A). Unlike Peru, the central government in Bolivia is
officially opposed to biofuels, yet in Eastern Bolivia
businesses and even the local governments are pushing to take
advantage of the perceived opportunities. Moreover, contacts
within government ministries indicate that biofuel
development is being vigorously debated, despite official
opposition. Rhetoric surrounding the topic is pervasive, and
government officials and potential private sector investors
need more accurate and comprehensive information.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
-------------------

2. In conjunction with Embassy Lima's program, Post proposes
a series of 2 workshops of 1 1/2 day duration in June 2008 to
explore opportunities for biofuel production within Bolivia.
These conferences will seek to open a regional dialogue on
the advantages and disadvantages of biofuel production
through discussion of three interrelated topics:
Environmental Concerns and Sustainability, Social Challenges,
and Economic Risks and Opportunities. Experts with practical
experience in the South American context will be brought
together with leaders in the governmental, academic,
business, and non-profit sectors. Presentations will be
combined with workshops where actual private sector project
proposals can be presented, government concerns can be
expressed and discussed, and different models of biofuels
development and biotechnology application can be debated. In
Bolivia conferences would be held in Santa Cruz and in La
Paz. Speakers will then continue on to Peru (see Ref B for
Peruvian proposal).

PROPOSED SPEAKERS AND PARTICIPANTS
----------------------------------

3. Post plans to sponsor three speakers to travel to each of
the workshop sites, one for each area of focus. To address
Environmental Concerns and Sustainability, Post proposes Tim
Killeen from Conservation International. Killeen is an
American citizen based in Santa Cruz with expertise in
tropical agriculture and biofuel development in the Amazon
Basin. For Social Concerns, Post proposes bringing in an
Andean region biodiesel production plant manager. Currently
we are considering Miguel Mazorra, who manages a cooperative
palm oil plantation in Columbia, but we are also seeking to
identify a U.S. citizen with management experience in the
region. Finally, to explore the Economic Risks and
Opportunities in Bolivia and Peru, Post recommends Dr. Miguel
Dabdoub from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dabdoub
has vast experience in the area and has collaborated with
Brazilian, European, and American companies building
biodiesel plants. He is responsible for the BiodieselBrasil
Program, a partnership with 30 private companies and five
other Brazilian universities. Dabdoub is also the President
of the Biofuels Chamber of the Sao Paulo State Government.

4. In addition to the regional speakers, the conferences
will provide an opportunity for local government and private
sector leaders in Bolivia and Peru to express their points of

LA PAZ 00000315 002 OF 002


view. Additionally, Embassy La Paz is seeking cooperation
from the British Embassy (through their environmental
programs) and the Brazilian Embassy, as well as export
associations, local businesses, and the Ministries of
Environment and Small Business Development.

FUNDING REQUEST
---------------

5. The workshops will be jointly sponsored and funded by
OES HUB South America with a contribution of $5,000. Embassy
La Paz is requesting $10,000 to cover the costs of speaker
travel from the U.S., Brazil and within Peru and Bolivia.

6. Travel, lodging and MIE for Economic Risk/Opportunities
Speaker: $3,000 (Colombia or U.S.)
Travel, lodging and MIE for Environmental/Sustainability
Speaker: $2,000 (Santa Cruz)
Travel, lodging and MIE for Social Challenges Speaker: $3,000
(Sao Paulo)
Speaker Honoraria: $2,000


PROPOSAL POINTS OF CONTACT
----------------------------

5. Points of contact:

Michael Stewart
Embassy La Paz, Economic Officer
stewartmp(at)state.gov
(591-2) 216-8862

Marcos Mandojana
Embassy Lima, Deputy Economic Counselor
mandojanamc(at)state.gov
(51-1) 618-2411

Anne Braghetta, PhD.
Embassy Brasilia
Director, Regional Environmental Office HUB South America
abraghetta(at)gmail.com
(55-61) 3312-7417
GOLDBERG

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