Cablegate: Under Secretary Dobriansky 's Visit to Brazil Sparks

DE RUEHBR #1351/01 1990942
R 180942Z JUL 07






E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: (A) STATE 51101, (B) STATE 51237


1. (SBU) Summary: Under Secretary Dobriansky's visit to Brazil May
16-17, 2007, not only fulfilled the request by President Bush and
Brazilian President Lula to elevate the Common Agenda for the
Environment (CAE) dialogue, but helped the U.S. Mission in Brazil
move forward on a number of key issues. During the Special Session
of the CAE, we reached bilateral agreement on the importance of
studying the environmental impact of biofuels production, clarified
Brazil's concerns about the U.S. initiative Coalition Against
Trafficking in Wildlife (CAWT), furthered cooperation on climate
change, and presented to Brazil draft letters of cooperation for
future bilateral efforts to reduce mercury in the environment. In a
meeting with Brazil's Special Secretary for Human Rights, the two
countries discussed trilateral cooperation with Guinea Bissau and
the Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Democracies. End

2. (U) Other members of the U.S. delegation who traveled with U/S
Dobriansky included Drew Nelson, Special Advisor on Climate Change,
Francis Colsn, Science and Technology Policy Officer, Douglas
Lawrence, Director of the Office of Resources, USDA. Embassy ESTH
Counselor Patricia Norman participated, along with Regional HUB
Director Jimmy Story and USAID Senior Policy Advisor Eric Stoner.
The Brazilian delegation was lead by Ambassador Everton Vieira
Vargas, Under Secretary for Political Affairs at Brazil's foreign
ministry, his deputy Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado,
Director of International Affairs at the Ministry for the
Environment (MMA) Fernando Lyrio da Silva, Dr. Barbosa Serra, the
new appointed director for climate change at MMA, Antonio Simes,
Director of the Office of Energy at the foreign ministry and Gilney
Amorim Viana, MMA.

3. (U) While in Brasilia, the Under Secretary held a meeting with
Brazil's Minister for the Environment Marina Silva. She also led
two events hosted by Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Special
High-Level Session of the CAE and a Working Session on Human Rights
and Democracy.


4. (SBU) Under Secretary Dobriansky, accompanied by Ambassador
Sobel, other members of the U.S. delegation, ESTH Counselor Norman
and USAID Advisor Stoner met with Minister Marina Silva, members of
her staff and the Director of the Office of the Environment at the
Foreign Ministry on May 16. Minister Silva explained that 6000
employees of the Ministry's enforcement division, IBAMA, were on
strike in opposition to a proposed reorganization. Minister Silva
explained that IBAMA's present structure dated back 19 years and
the number of hectres of parkland and protected areas it manages
had doubled and in some cases tripled since inception. In order to
better manage in today's environment, the Minister and President
Lula had proposed a reorganization that would divide IBAMA's
authorities among the newly created Chico Mendes Institute and other
specialized Secretariats. The strike is expected to last until the
Brazilian Congress votes.

5. (U) Under Secretary Dobriansky discussed at length the Minister's
concerns about CAWT, addressing each in great detail, ending with a
renewed invitation for Brazil to join. (Brazil's concerns had been
presented on paper to the Department by its Embassy in Washington
several weeks prior to this meeting.) Minster Silva expressed
support for the concept of CAWT and explained the mechanics of
Brazil's own anti-trafficking campaign which is being implemented in
partnership with Brazil's foreign ministry. Minister Silva said that
her Ministry was predisposed to join CAWT. Under Secretary
Dobriansky stated that should it join, Brazil would be welcomed with
a rollout and that Minister Silva could speak on these issues
alongside of Canada, Chile and India. Post is awaiting an official
response to the invitation to join CAWT.

6. (U) Minister Silva spoke briefly on the elements of Brazil's
proposal for positive incentives for deforestation efforts,
originally presented at the November, 2006, UNEP meeting. Under
Secretary Dobriansky suggested a second digital video conference to

discuss and clarify aspects of Brazil's proposal. On biofuels, both
the Minister and Under Secretary agreed to the importance of
studying the environmental impact of biofuel production. Minister
Silva expressed her negative concerns about moving forward with a

BRASILIA 00001351 002 OF 004

Tropical Forest Conservation Act in Brazil, primarily because the
funds would be available only for NGO use.

7. (U) In response to Ambassador Sobel's explanation of the U.S.
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (which promotes the use of nuclear
as clean renewable energy,) Minister Silva said Brazil had so many
options for renewable energy, she doubted that the move to nuclear
would ever be necessary. Under Secretary Dobriansky concluded the
meeting by renewing the invitation for Brazil to participate in the
UNEP working group on mercury meeting scheduled for the Fall.


8. (U) The session was led by Under Secretary Dobriansky and
Ambassador Everton Vargas. Also attending was U.S. Embassy
Political Officer Aaron Olsa and Minister Ana Lucy Cabral Peterson,
Director of the Office of Human Rights and Social Themes at Brazil's
Foreign Ministry. Brazil expressed its pleasure with the bilateral
agreement to support Guinea Bissau signed during the March 30, 2007,
visit of President Lula to the United States. Noting that this was
the first such bilateral cooperation in Africa, Ambassador Vargas
said there are several areas where the United States and Brazil can
work together as multicultural democracies.

9. (U) U/S Dobriansky commended Brazil's work in Guinea Bissau.
She pointed out that Mali wants to review the best strategies on
poverty eradication, noting that a Brazil-Mali partnership would
offer great potential. She also noted that a relationship between
Brazil and Liberia would also be useful because of Brazil's
experience, stressing issues President Lula put forward previously.
She reminded Vargas that the OAS will hold a trans-Atlantic
democracy bridge with African countries to discuss democracy, and
Brazil's involvement is highly desirable. Vargas said that Africa
is a priority in Brazil's foreign policy, and in a recent meeting
with African leaders, President Lula said Brazil wants to strengthen
its relationships there. He noted, however, that Brazil's human and
financial resources are limited because of its lead role in Haiti.


10. (U) Both countries welcomed this Special Session of the CAE and
the United States pledged to host the next session of the CAE in the
United States. Both countries agreed that the CAE should be run at
the A/S level with input from the Under Secretary level when
necessary. The two countries also pledged to support the technical
level working group of the CAE in order to pursue additional areas
of cooperation.


11. (U) Ambassador Vargas opened with a general discussion of the
bilateral biofuels partnership and a review of upcoming activities.
He gave special emphasis to those activities that fall under the
heading of science and technology, such as the group of Brazilian
scientists scheduled to visit biofuels research laboratories in the
United States in August 2007. The Ambassador said he considered
biofuels an important foreign policy issue and cooperation should be
accelerated. Under Secretary Dobriansky emphasized the importance of
focusing on best practices used to reduce the impact of biofuels
production on the environment.

12. (SBU) Antonio Simes, head of the foreign ministry's division
on energy, said Brazil believes that without sustainable
production, a global market for biofuels will never be reality.
Simes said Brazil had saved $US 61 billion over the last ten years
by the use of biofuels instead of petroleum and experienced a
significant reduction in emissions. Simes repeated the proposal he
made to DOE A/S Karsner that the United States and Brazil co-sponsor
a study to scientifically document that the use of biofuels reduces
emissions. The study should include data from scientists from China,
the EU, South Africa and India he concluded.

13. (SBU) Reference was made by the Brazilians to negative
statements attributed to specific European leaders concerning the
conditions under which sugar was produced in Brazil. A discussion
ensued as to the best way to address that issue.

14. (SBU) Ambassador Vargas spoke about the reaction of Brazil's
private sector to the MOU signed by the foreign ministers during the
visit of President Bush to Brazil March 8-9, 2007. Generally, the
private sector felt that since the tariff on Brazilian exports of

BRASILIA 00001351 003 OF 004

ethanol to the United States remained, the impact of the MOU was
diminished. The Ambassador said that if the United States and Brazil
hoped in the future to deepen their partnership, there would have to
be some movement on the tariff issue.

15. (U) The Under Secretary noted that the Global Bioenergy
Partnership (GBEP) is addressing the issue of best practices and GHG
methodologies and encouraged Brazil to participate in GBEP. The
Under Secretary also noted that the USG will host the Washington
International Renewable Energy Conference scheduled for March 2008
in Washington, D.C. This Ministerial-level meeting was being viewed
as a follow on to those held in Bonn, Germany.

16. (U) Ambassador Vargas reiterated an invitation made by President
Lula to President Bush during the visit to Camp David (March 31,
2007), inviting President Bush to Brazil's biofuel conference in

17. (U) Dr. Douglas Lawrence discussed the impact of biofuels
development on various aspects of the agricultural market in the
United States. He outlined efforts by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture to lessen negative impacts to the environment such as
finding better ways to process water, reduce the use of chemicals
and examining the phosphorus problem in grains.


18. (SBU) The climate change discussions centered around upcoming
climate negotiations, the U.S.-Brazil Climate Change Bilateral, and
work in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to
address climate change. Both countries noted their opposition to
the proposed text in the G8 by the Germans which calls for a cap on
emissions which would limit climate change to two degrees Celsius.
Under Secretary Dobriansky invited Brazil to propose a date for the
next meeting of the U.S./Brazil Climate Change Bilateral. Brazil
indicated it would look into dates and follow-up shortly.

19. (SBU) The Under Secretary also raised the issue of ICAO's work
to address greenhouse gas emissions from the aviation sector. Brazil
noted its opposition to the EU approach on this issue, and stated
they have raised their concerns with the EU. When pressed about
whether they would be able to send a letter of opposition to the EU,
Brazil indicated it would look into it. Their concerns with the
original letter were focused on the "some developing countries"
language. Comment: It appears unlikely they will send their own
letter without significant prodding from the U.S. and others. End

20. (SBU) The Brazilians again raised their proposal on avoided
deforestation and explained it as a template for possible use in
other areas. The Brazilians also expressed puzzlement regarding the
EU's push to launch a timeline for new negotiations at Bali and how
it would fit in the current processes.


21. (SBU) The Brazilians indicated their disappointment with the
results from CSD and stated it would like to see a stronger UNEP
and a stronger CSD. They will be hosting a meeting next September
to discuss how to move forward on global governance in a way that
does not continue the polarization of the French proposal for a
World Environment Organization.


22. (U) Under Secretary Dobriansky stated that UNEP would be
convening a mercury working group later this year and stated that
the United States would participate. Referring to the bilateral
relationship, she said that the United States and Brazil had been
working informally in a technical collaboration to reduce the use
and emissions of mercury from various sectors in Brazil. The Under
Secretary offered to the Brazilians a draft letter of cooperation to

formalize future cooperation in this area under the Technical
Working Group of the CAE. Brazil agreed to have their experts at the
review the letter.


23. (U) Under Secretary Dobriansky stated that the United States
welcomed the GoB comments on CAWT during a previous meeting with
Environment Minister Marina Silva and interpreted the Minister's

BRASILIA 00001351 004 OF 004

comments as indicating that the GoB was prepared to become a member.
Ambassador Vargas said that the foreign ministry would consult with
their colleagues at the Ministry of the Environment and communicate
with the United States at a later date relative to GoB membership.

24. (U) Ambassador Vargas formally stated that this and future
U.S.-Brazil Common Agenda for the Environment meetings would be lead
at the Under Secretary level but the work could be handled at the
Assistant Secretary or Office Director level, with political
guidance from the Under Secretaries. Under Secretary Dobriansky
agreed and stated that the United States would host the next CAE,
date to be communicated through the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia.

25. (U) This cable was cleared by U/S Dobriansky's delegation prior
to transmission.


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