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Cablegate: Oesi Proposal Submission: Black Sea Long-Term

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 002022

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR OES/PCI (ESHAW), OES/STC (CWOYTOWICZ)
POSTS FOR ESTOFF


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIS
SUBJECT: OESI PROPOSAL SUBMISSION: BLACK SEA LONG-TERM
ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH NETWORK


REF: A. SECSTATE 31684
B. WOYTOWICZ - GUTMAN eMail, 3/19


This cable was prepared in coordination with embassies in
Bucharest, Kiev, Moscow, Sofia, and Tbilisi. Entitled
"Start-up of a Black Sea Long Term Ecological Research
Network" (LTER) we anticipate full participation from all
Black Sea littorals.


A. PROJECT TITLE: "Start-up of a Black Sea Long Term
Ecological Research Network"


B. DEPARTMENT STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE: Regional stability,
economic development and S&T cooperation


C. PROBLEM/ISSUE: A Black Sea academic recently estimated
that there are more than 8,500 peer-reviewed studies on
the Black Sea. An oceanography conference in Ankara in
October 2002 drew more than 400 professionally researched
abstracts that were less than a year old on the Black and
Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Very few studies are
coordinated or systematically compared with others. An
integrated basin-wide approach is clearly needed and
would help leverage strained budgets. Interest among
academics in establishing an LTER is strong.


Strengthening regional cooperation on Black Sea issues
will simultaneously enhance U.S. S&T cooperation in the
region and lead to a coordinated body of literature that
documents changes in the Black Sea that affect economic
development. Such coordination can lead to an increase
in science-driven decision-making, improved environmental
protection, and increased economic stability. It will
also foster U.S. engagement in important scientific
research during a period in which the EU Sixth Framework
is projected to exert a tremendous pull on intellectual
resources.


D. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: The project will bring together
institutions and scientists to coordinate their research
and maximize their limited available research funding.
For example, this project will enable regular sharing of
limited core samples. The result will be


== local leadership and development of a coordinated body
of data and literature that does not duplicate previous
studies, picks up where short-term studies leave off and
focuses on goals important to the environment of the
Black Sea.


== a revitalized Black Sea will stimulate economic growth
through tourism, trade and development.


== strengthened regional cooperation and academic
communities


== continuously maintained time series of high quality
core measurements from several sites within the Black
Sea.


E. U.S. INTERESTS:


== Half of the six Black Sea littoral countries are
either allied NATO members or NATO aspirants, three are
EU candidates, and they all require continuing
international support. It is within U.S. interests to
remain engaged in these countries as they develop. The
Black Sea is no longer a western neighbor: it is the
west's backyard.


== Of the six Black Sea littoral states, the U.S. has an
existing S&T agreement with all except Georgia. Staying
close to S&T in this region is essential for continuing
U.S. science leadership.


F. ESF REQUIREMENT OF PROMOTING ECONOMIC OR POLITICAL
STABILITY: The proposal uses diplomatic -- rather than
development -- means to promote regional cooperation.
Participants will be exposed to U.S. values and positions
on issues that may be subject to future international
negotiations. Cooperation among academic institutions
promotes regional political stability.


G. PROPOSED RECIPIENT OF FUNDS AND PROPOSED VEHICLE FOR
OBLIGING THE MONEY: Joint grant to the University of
Washington and Institute of Marine Sciences at Middle
East Technical University (METU).


H. DETAILED PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Based on results from recent NATO and National Science
Foundation projects, there is abundant evidence that
anthropogenic activities over the past three decades have
caused changes in the chemistry, circulation and biology
of the Black Sea. Some scientists fear that global
warming may cause further changes in the future. The
only way to understand what these changes are, what may
be causing them, and how they will affect regional
interests is to develop a time series of data, augmented
by studies to understand specific evolving processes. The
Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) offers an
excellent framework for conducting such a time series.


This OESI funded project will be the first phase in
developing a time series. In order to prepare a proposal
for an LTER, the project will assess each countries'
capabilities, including their scientific and sampling
capabilities. This assessment will require bringing
together scientific representatives from all countries to
summarize existing capabilities and identify new
capabilities that are needed. Initial meetings may
include a small group of professionals specifically to
focus on certain aspects of the project. Larger meetings
to look at capabilities in their totality will follow. A
five-person steering committee to represent the
participating countries will play an integral role
throughout.


The final step will be to prepare a specific proposal to
initiate the LTER. This proposal will require detailed
plans for sampling, measurement and data management and
will list specific contributions from each country. The
project's ultimate goal is prepare the LTER Proposal by
January 2005.


It is possible that long term funding could come from the
countries themselves plus EU, NATO, and/or the National
Science Foundation.


James Murray (University of Washington) and Ilkay
Salihoglu (IMS-METU) will initially coordinate the
project. Most meetings will be at IMS-METU in Erdemli,
Turkey and possibly at the University of Washington,
Seattle.


I. PERFORMANCE TARGETS AND PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:
== January 1, 2004: Project start
== April 1, 2004: Reports by Working Groups from
participating countries summarizing their capabilities
and needs for maintaining time series measurements and
data management.
== June 2004: Meeting at IMS/METU in Erdemli of
representatives from Black Sea countries and the U.S. to
draft an outline of the LTER proposal.
== September 2004: Meeting in the U.S. of the proposal
writing team to prepare a draft proposal that will be
distributed for internal review. Alternate location:
Edirmli.
== January 1, 2005: Final LTER proposal prepared.


J. ASSUMPTIONS:
== All countries support ecologically sound development
of the Black Sea and recognize the role that research
plays in the effort.


== Research institutes participate and will be fully
engaged.


== Results will be achieved.


K. TOTAL PROPOSED COST: $103,000
This will support preliminary Working Group meetings in
Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia.
There will be meeting of all countries at IMS in Erdemli,
Turkey in June 2004 to outline the draft proposal and
possibly at the University of Washington, Seattle in
September 2004 to finalize the plan. There may also be
meetings of the Steering Group.


L. TOTAL REQUESTED OF OES: $103,000
1.) National working group meetings
12,000 six at $2,000
1,000 materials and supplies


2.) International meeting in Edirmli (June)
20,000 travel and per diem for participants
12,000 travel and per diem for 3 U.S. experts
1,000 materials and supplies
3.) International Meeting (September)
a.) Site: Seattle
35,000 travel and per diem for participants
5,000 five U.S. experts
1,000 materials and supplies


b.) Alternate site: Edirmli
20,000 travel and per diem for 10
20,000 travel and per diem for 5 U.S. experts
1,000 materials and supplies


4.) Publication and translation of plan and
recommendations: 10,000


5.) Administrative costs (phone postage, fax,
duplication)
3,000 12 months at $250/ month
3,000 video conferences


TOTAL PROJECT COST: $ 103,000


M. PRINCIPAL PARTNERS:
First Phase partners:
== University of Washington, School of Oceanography
== Institute of Marine Sciences
== Ankara Regional Environmental Hub


Second Phase partners might include:
== National Science Foundation
== Long Term Ecological Research International (LTER
International)
== UNESCO-IOC


N. ROLE AND RESOURCES THAT PARTNERS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO
THE PROJECT:
== University of Washington will be the lead agency and
provide oversight and management of program.
== Institute of Marine Sciences will provide liaison to
local institutions and accommodation and meals for
activities held at that location.


O. OES SPONSORING OFFICE:
== OES/STC

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