Search

 

Cablegate: Codel Markey Visit to Brasilia

VZCZCXRO2959
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #0395/01 0841438
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241438Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1259
INFO RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7831
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 1788
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5941
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5378
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7273
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 6654
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0205
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000395

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP PGOV PREL AMGT BR
SUBJECT: CODEL MARKEY VISIT TO BRASILIA

REF: STATE 13602

1. SUMMARY. Codel Markey visited Brazil February 15-21. The CODEL
began its visit in Manaus where it received briefings on
environmental issues focusing on the effects of climate change on
the Amazon rainforest. It then proceeded to Rio de Janeiro
(reported septel) to focus on alternative fuels, particularly
ethanol. February 19-21, the Codel stopped in Brasilia, where it
represented the U.S. Congress at the GLOBE Legislators Forum on
Climate Change and met with counterparts from the Brazilian Chamber
of Deputies. The Codel also met with Minister of the Environment
Marina Silva, Ministry of External Relations Under Secretary for
Policy (including climate change policy) Everton Vargas, and with
representatives of NGOs involved with climate change and the
environment. END SUMMARY.

Manaus
------
2. The Codel's visit to Brazil began in Manaus, where members
visited the Amazon Research Institute's (INPA) Science Woods
research facility and heard briefings on the ecology of the
rainforest and the environmental challenges of deforestation.
Researchers discussed the potential impacts of global climate change
on the rainforest and the difficulties of balancing economic
development and preservation of the environment. Codel members also
had the opportunity to observe INPA's efforts to preserve threatened
and endangered species such as the giant river otter and the fresh
water manatee. The Codel then traveled up the river Negro for a
first hand view of the rainforest and the riverine wetlands,
including observation of caiman lizards and pink river dolphins.

Meeting with the Chairman of Chamber of Deputies
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. After arrival in Brasilia, the Codel met with Arlindo Chinaglia,
President of the Chamber of Deputies, in his office, as well as at
breakfast with several other senators and deputies. Chinaglia
underscored his interest in establishing a permanent working group
on climate change, deforestation, and biofuels between the Brazilian
Congress and the U.S. Congress. He said he had raised this idea
with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom he met last year, and she seemed
receptive. In the short term, he would like to organize a
U.S.-Brazil bilateral congressional seminar on biofuels and global
warming, and later hold a similar, expanded event to include
Argentina and other countries. Chinaglia and the other Brazilian
legislators highlighted Brazil's prowess with biofuels and success
in reducing the rate of deforestation in recent years.

Meeting with Ministry of External Relations
-------------------------------------------

4. Ministry of External Relations (MRE) Under Secretary for
Political Affairs, Ambassador Everton Vargas, stressed the
centrality of the principle "common, but differentiated
responsibilities" in addressing global climate change. Vargas is a
pivotal figure on Brazil's climate change negotiating team. While
Brazil should not be expected to assume the obligations of developed
countries, Vargas assured that it would try to do its part in the
global effort. He noted the reduction in the rate of deforestation
in recent years, and also the successful biofuels program. Vargas
heard that some U.S. legislators might try to include in climate
change legislation, such as the various cap-and-trade bills now in
Congress, a link or pre-condition between U.S. actions and other
countries - such as Brazil - assuming obligations. He strongly
urged the CODEL to resist including such a link or pre-condition.

Meeting with Environment Ministry officials
-------------------------------------------

5. Minister of the Environment Minister Marina Silva, her senior
climate change adviser Thelma Krug, and her head of the recently
created Brazilian Forest Service, Tasso Azevedo informed the Codel
of the progress that had been made in recent years in reducing the
rate of deforestation in the Amazon. Silva and Azevedo noted that
in light of a jump in the rate in the last five months of 2007, the
government was redoubling its efforts to increase monitoring and
enforcement of the laws against deforestation. Silva said that they
had arrested over 600 people last year, including about 100 corrupt
government employees. Azevedo described improvements in monitoring
of the forest through high-resolution satellites and also more
frequent, low resolution satellites. He requested the delegation's
help with acquiring the high-resolution satellite photos, which the
Forest Service had limited resources to purchase. Azevedo also
described a new forest concession system that his organization

BRASILIA 00000395 002 OF 002


supervised.

Meeting with NGO representatives
--------------------------------

6. The Codel met with representatives of various non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), who generally painted a much bleaker picture
of the situation in the Amazon. They thought the government had
insufficient resources to monitor and enforce the laws in the
Amazon. They stressed that what is needed were changes to the
current economic patterns in the Amazon. Currently, little or no
value is placed on standing forests. Dan Nepstad of Woods Hole,
Paulo Moutinho of the Amazon Research Institute (IPAM), and Dan
Zarin of the University of Florida opined on the need to put a value
on the environmental services provided by a forest; John Carter of
Alliance for the Earth underscored the lawlessness around his farm
in the Amazon.

GLOBE Legislators Forum
------------------------

7. The Codel represented the U.S. Congress at a meeting of the
GLOBE International Legislators Forum on climate change, which met
in Brasilia February 19-21. The Forum included representatives from
the G-8 countries plus five (Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and
Mexico). The GLOBE Forum considered various papers on climate
change, forests, and biofuels. When finalized, these papers will be
presented to the G-8 Gleneagles process. Chairman Markey made an
intervention at the Forum; he highlighted the Congress's passage of
the Clean Energy Act in 2007, which raised the mileage standards,
and discussed various bills on climate change now in the U.S.
Congress. He expressed his views on the direction the likely
legislation to be enacted by the U.S. Congress in the next couple of
years and on the probable approach the next administration would
take with regard to climate change.

SOBEL

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC