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Cablegate: Brasilia Hub Hosts 2006 Conference of Western Hemisphere

VZCZCXRO5133
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #2378/01 3132037
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 092037Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7325
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 4395
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 5768
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 4970
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 5909
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 2026
RUEHGE/AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN 1155
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3236
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 6577
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3495
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO 0164
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 0313
RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA 0129
RUEHKG/AMEMBASSY KINGSTON 0090
RUEHMU/AMEMBASSY MANAGUA 0107
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 0146
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0271
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0515
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0182
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 0019
RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 0015
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0019
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0001
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0022
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 0009
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT 0010
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0019
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 3309
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 8573
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 5832
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DOE WASHDC
RUEHC/DOI WASHDC
RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC
RUEANAT/NASA HQ WASHDC
RUCPDC/NOAA WASHDC
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL
RUEHRC/USDA WASHDC
RUCPDO/USDOC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 BRASILIA 002378

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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DEPT PASS USAID TO LAC/RSD, LAC/SAM, G/ENV, PPC/ENV
USDA FOR FOREST SERVICE: L MAHEW
INTERIOR FOR DIR INT AFFAIRS: K WASHBURN
INTERIOR FOR FWS: M RATCHFORD
INTERIOR PASS USGS FOR INTERNATIONAL: J WEAVER
Add National Parks Service here if possible
JUSTICE FOR ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES: J WEBB
EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL: C HILL-MACON
NSF FOR INTERNATIONAL: H STOLBERG

E.O.: N/A
TAGS: OTRA XM XL BR
SUBJECT: BRASILIA HUB HOSTS 2006 CONFERENCE OF WESTERN HEMISPHERE
ESTH OFFICERS AT FOZ DO IGUASSU

Reftel BRASILIA 2048

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. The September 13-16 Western Hemisphere Environment, Science,
Technology and Health Officers Conference (ESTHOC) in Foz do Iguazu,
Brazil was by all accounts a great success. Forty-six people
representing US embassies in nineteen Latin American countries as
well as USG entities USGS, EPA, USAID, ONR/DOD, DOJ, DOS/OES,
DOS/Public Affairs, DOS/NAS, and DOS/INR took part in ESTHOC. The
two-and-a-half-day event covered ESTH issues of current concern in
the Western Hemisphere including: Energy, Climate Change, S&T
Cooperation, Avian Influenza, General Health Issues, Trade and
Environment, Wildlife Trafficking, Forests, Biodiversity, Fisheries,
the White Water to Blue Water partnership, and the impact of the
Department's Strategic Framework and Foreign Assistance reform
efforts on the role of ESTH Officers and on future funding for ESTH
programs. This was an excellent opportunity to exchange information
between and among USG agencies, different offices in the Department
of State, and ESTH officers at posts in the region. The conference
generated renewed energy for actively advancing ESTH issues as a key
contribution to the Secretary's vision of transformational
diplomacy, new partnerships developed among ESTHOffs, OES and WHA
officers, other agencies, and a percolationn of new ideas on areas
for future cooperation. End Summary.

2. During the first two days of the conference, experts on issues
ranging from national parks to the Methanes to Markets partnership
made presentations and were able to bring the assembled ESTH
officers up to speed on these topics. These experts, from the
Department of State and other USG agencies, used this time to
explain the role of each agency and DOS office in handling ESTH
issues in the region as well as outlining current programs and
projects and areas for future cooperation. Of particular utility in
an atmosphere of shrinking budgets were the presentations made by
offices, bureaus, and agencies that illustrated ways to leverage
existing funding, programs, and partnerships to increase our ESTH

BRASILIA 00002378 002 OF 005


cooperation with national governments without needing additional
financial resources.

3. Each ESTH officer also had an opportunity to share with the
group the most important and germane ESTH issues for the country in
which they are posted. This feedback was beneficial not only to the
assembled group in showing that many of these issues such as
environmental law enforcement and governance are nearly universal,
but in also illustrating to the OES bureau what the posts see as the
top ESTH priorities in each country. This discussion was then taken
into break-out groups to look for areas of convergence. (Note: Due
to the nature of the countries represented, we attempted to separate
them into subgroups based on the likelihood of having issues in
common with each other and not strictly based on the definition of
who is or is not part of the CAFTA-DR Free Trade Agreement for
example. End Note.) These break-out groups were: Andean countries
(Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia), CAFTA-DR
countries (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, El
Salvador, Guyana, Jamaica, and Panama), and Southern Cone countries
(Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia) as well as a final
group for the Washington perspective.

----------------
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
----------------

3. This group highlighted the role of Public Affairs as an
important tool for promoting ESTH issues in the region. They
suggested a campaign on genetic piracy (and research), a Voluntary
Visitors program on forestry/national parks, an 'American corner'
focused on the environment (drawing on work currently taking place
in Chile), and a PAS FSN designated for environmental issues. They
also agreed on the need to increase coordination with NGOs and learn
about what other USG agencies are doing in each country. On
Indigenous issues, the group suggested a workshop on ecotourism
(capacity-building) and a regional event on forestry in coordination
with the USFS. Other regional/cross-border issues of importance in
the region are pipelines and environmental safety (with the private
sector), disaster monitoring, and drugs and the environment. This

BRASILIA 00002378 003 OF 005


group stated that a (topical) list of websites where to get
grants/funding would be a great tool to help them reach some of
their goals.

----------
CAFTA-DR
----------

4. The CAFTA-DR group agreed that energy is currently a main issue
in the region. The main focus of energy being on electrical
generation, the production of ethanol, the need for information on
what ethanol price structures are (e.g. costs to convert buses for
biodiesel), and energy conservation programs such as the Green
Embassies Program and Energy Star. The group stated that, in the
region posts need to focus on small projects that work and have
results. As for Information Sharing, the group suggests using the
consular waiting room, DVC programs, and learning more about what
experts can be either brought to the region or by DVC.
Interestingly, the group also focused on USAID Cooperation and
stated that, "We can do better in learning what AID is doing in each
country and how to leverage their programs."

-------------
SOUTHERN CONE
-------------

5. For the Southern Cone group, the use of DOJ's Op-Dat funds to
run small-scale (regional, national or local) environmental law
enforcement courses was suggested. Topics for the Southern Cone
include: illegal logging, legal reserves, and trafficking in
animals. Also, Technical Assistance to National Parks in
Uruguay/Paraguay was mentioned as a potentially productive area. As
Uruguay's National Park System is in its fledgling stages, a group
IV/VV to bring together the nations various implementing agencies
would achieve excellent results. On the topic of TFCA, both
Paraguay and Uruguay offered viable options for a
debt-for-nature-swap and could work together to coordinate
activities toward that end. The group agreed that Southern Cone
countries, especially Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay are ripe for

BRASILIA 00002378 004 OF 005


regional conferences and speakers due to their close proximity and
the ease of travel between them. Again logging, agricultural
expansion, natural reserves, cross-border watersheds and biofuels
were topics common to all of the Southern Cone Countries.

6. Biofuels in the Southern Cone was a topic of prolonged
discussion. All of the Southern Cone Countries are potential
epicenters for biofuels (both ethanol - cane or cellulosic - and
biodiesel). Two competing interests that need to be guided in this
process are socio-economic development and agribusiness via the
production of fuel stocks and conservation of existing biomes at
risk from monoculture/agricultural encroachment. A regional
conference, similar in vein to the recent Sustainable Soy conference
in Paraguay (BRASILIA 2048) could provide these countries with best
practices, development models, potential impacts, etc.

-------
Comment
-------

7. Comment. The meeting proved to be fruitful and stimulated
discussion along with immediate actions. The South America HUB is
currently working on a new Intranet site, which will integrate
information from all South America ESTH posts into one central site;
embassy officials from several countries (i.e. Southern Cone
countries) discussed working with their Public Affairs sections to
bring a speaker down from the US National Parks Service to discuss
concessions inside national parks; several other posts including
Bolivia resolved to speak with their NAS colleagues to see about
duplicating the success story on NAS collaboration with wildlife
trafficking conducted in Brazil with the Science section; and all of
the participants left energized on these issues and looking for
other opportunities to collaborate with their host governments on
ESTH issues.

8. Post thanks the OES Bureau for their support of this conference
and continued support to the Hub program and individual ESTH
officers in the region. With the end of the OES-I program, the need
for increased coordination and cooperation between and among all USG

BRASILIA 00002378 005 OF 005


agencies and OES bureaus involved with ESTH issues will be of
increasing importance. The Hub team looks forward to continuing and
building upon the entrepreneurial spirit shown at this regional
conference in fulfilling our regional mandate, supporting the
bilateral missions, and advocating for US ESTH foreign policy.

9. The Brasilia Hub also stands ready to consult with other
Environmental Hub Offices to share ideas and lessons from the
organization of this ESTHOC to help ensure the success of similar
ETHOCs planned for FY 2007 in East Asia and Pacific (February),
South Central Asia (May) and Africa (September). End Comment.


SOBEL

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