Search

 

Cablegate: Funding the Okeanos Explorer

VZCZCXRO8594
RR RUEHWEB
DE RUEHJA #2186/01 3361032
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011032Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0850
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002186

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR U/S FORE, U/S DOBRIANSKY, U/S GLASSMAN, A/S MCMURRAY
AND SCIENCE ADVISER FEDEROFF
STATE ALSO FOR EAP/MTS AND OES
COMMERCE FOR NOAA

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: SENV TBIO EAID ECON PREL ID

SUBJECT: FUNDING THE OKEANOS EXPLORER

FROM AMBASSADOR CAMERON HUME

1. (U) Summary. We have an extraordinary opportunity to advance our
environmental, scientific and diplomatic agendas in Indonesia and
beyond but we need $1 million in State funding to make it happen.
The Indonesian government has invited NOAA to send the Okeanos
Explorer, the world's most advanced research and exploration vessel,
to Indonesia for the May 2009 World Oceans Conference hosted by
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The voyage would end a
forty-year refusal by the Indonesians to allow U.S. research vessels
to explore their waters. End summary.

------------------------------------------
Advancing Science and Environmental Policy
------------------------------------------

2. (U) When it is fully outfitted next year, NOAA's new Okeanos
Explorer will be the most advanced marine exploration and research
vessel in the world. Remote-controlled vehicles will be able to
plunge to the depth of six kilometers. The ship's "telepresence"
technology allows scientists in remote command centers around the
world to share in and guide the exploration in real time. This will
shatter the current marine research paradigm which requires
scientists to be on board. The ship will collect critical
scientific information to evaluate the impact of oceans on climate
change and to look specifically at the role of the Coral Triangle in
preserving the world's marine biodiversity.

3. (U) The opportunity to send the ship to Indonesian waters is a
historic first in marine science but has a short shelf life.
Indonesia has never allowed a government scientific research vessel
to conduct joint research in its waters. We have received
assurances from the Indonesian military that they will approve the
necessary voyage permits, largely because the conference is a
priority of President Yudhoyono's. If we cannot time the voyage for
the World Oceans Conference, the offer may expire. The Indonesian
scientific ministries are anxious to partner and have already set
aside ship time for their own research vessel, the Baruna Jaya, to
accompany the Okeanos on a joint research program. The Indonesians
see this collaboration as the first step in what they hope will
become multi-year scientific collaboration with the U.S. and will
help serve as a model of open global collaboration to advance the
world's scientific agenda.

--------------------
Benefits of a Voyage
--------------------

4. (U) An Okeanos voyage to Indonesia would provide multiple
benefits. It would:

--Signal the strong support of the United States government saving
one of the most geologically active and biologically diverse regions
of the world;
--Advance scientific exploration of this area;
--Showcase NOAA technology to the rest of the world;
--Establish a new paradigm in marine research through the Okeanos'
telepresence capabilities;
--Provide a wealth of information on the role of oceans in climate
change to understand the marine ecosystem and climate change
impacts; and
--Encourage Indonesia to be more open to international scientific
collaboration.

5. (U) There is also an important public diplomacy element. The
Okeanos Explorer's advanced image-capture, sampling, and
communications systems will enable researchers and the public to
view flora, fauna, and physical undersea features that would be
otherwise inaccessible. These images could be beamed to the World
Oceans Conference and CTI Summit to provide real-time exploration
imagery of areas never before seen by man. News Corporation has
virtually assured us that they would air coverage of the voyage on
Fox News and we are working with the National Geographic Channel on
a possible documentary. We believe this story will be picked up
around the world. Here in Indonesia, we would be seen as working
cooperatively with Indonesians on a topic of great importance to
them.

----------------
Making it Happen
----------------

6. (U) Getting the world's best exploration and research vessel to
make its maiden voyage to the World Oceans Conference while
conducting vital research in the most diverse marine area is too
good an opportunity to pass up. But we need funding. NOAA will
soon make an internal decision on whether to send the Okeanos, but

JAKARTA 00002186 002 OF 002


will stop planning efforts unless some funding has been located.
NOAA has no international budget for this unexpected opportunity,
which would cost $4.7 million. We believe that the benefits of the
mission far outweigh the costs and believe that funding can be
provided by State Department, NOAA and private donations. USAID has
notionally committed $500,000 in parallel financing for affiliated
marine research collaboration with the Government of Indonesia. In
order to meet NOAA's ship planning deadlines, we need a signal of $1
million in State funding by mid-December.

HUME

© 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