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Cablegate: Brazil Launches Another Plan for a Sustainable Amazon

VZCZCXRO0299
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHBR #0750/01 1551943
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031943Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1786
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 2139
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6202
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8083
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000750

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/PCI - N. FITE AND L.SPERLING
DEPT FOR OES/ENCR - S.CASWELL AND C.KARR-COLQUE
DEPT FOR WHA/BSC - B.CHIANG AND D. SCHNIER
STATE FOR USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG EAGR ECON BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL LAUNCHES ANOTHER PLAN FOR A SUSTAINABLE AMAZON

REF: A) BRASILIA 681, B) BRASILIA 229,

C) BRASILIA 224 D) Brasilia 124

BRASILIA 00000750 001.2 OF 002


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

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. On May 8, 2008, Brazil's President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva unveiled a package of 16 measures called the Plan for
a Sustainable Amazon (PAS). The plan is long on good intentions and
hints of funding (possibly up to Real 1.0 billion or about US$ 600
million over the next several years), but short on details and
specific budget resources. Complicating matters, President Lula
named Minister for Long-Term Planning Roberto Mangabeira Unger, to
take over from the Environment Minister as the coordinator of the
PAS program. This rebuff likely contributed to the departure of
Environment Minister Marina Silva (REFTEL A). Subsequently, new
Environment Minister Carlos Minc announced his own ideas for the
Amazon: setting a goal of "zero deforestation" rate; creating an
environmental national guard; and significantly increasing penalties
for environmental crimes. Pressure on Brazil to take stronger
action against deforestation will probably increase, as Minc
recently warned, as a result of the predicted rise in the
deforestation rate this year. Lula, Minc and Mangabeira Unger are
faced with the challenge of converting good intentions into results.
They face the daunting task of protecting the Amazon and at the
same time building infrastructure and promoting economic development
in this sensitive region. END SUMMARY

PAS - SUSTAINABLE AMAZON PLAN

3. (SBU) After five years of preparation and consultations with
state and local officials, the Plan for a Sustainable Amazon (PAS)
was unveiled on May 8. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched
the PAS together with Long-Term Planning Minister Mangabeira Unger,
erstwhile Environment Minister Marina Silva, other senior officials,
governors, and representatives of civil society, private sector and
academia.

4. (SBU) PAS consists of 16 measures and seeks to construct a new,
sustainable development model for the 26 million residents in the
Amazon region. In fact, however, the measures are broad goals and
the details on how they are to be implemented have yet to be
announced. Several of the measures deal with increasing the
dialogue and coordination among the various levels of governments
and civil society, as well as across borders through Mercosul and
the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization. One calls for reducing
deforestation and conserving biodiversity; and another measure
promotes reforestation of degraded lands. A key measure requires
land title registration and zoning. A couple of measures provide
for improving highways and river transport, expansion of ports and
rural electrification. A critical measure calls for low-cost loans
to farmers and ranchers for sustainable agriculture. (COMMENT. It
is unclear how these loans will differ from those already being
provided to the agriculture sector in the region through a variety
of mechanisms, such as the Bank of the Amazon. END COMMENT.)

5. (SBU) PAS does not include any specific commitments of funding.
At the rollout, however, then Environment Minister Silva announced
that the PAS would receive Real

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