Cablegate: Germany Seeks to Expand Its Substanial Assistance to Brazil On Climate Change and Combating Deforestation
DE RUEHBR #1565/01 3401826
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051826Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3045
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 3162
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6954
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8777
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0295
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001565
DEPT FOR OES/ENRC, OES/STC
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KSCA KGHG BR GM
SUBJECT: GERMANY SEEKS TO EXPAND ITS SUBSTANIAL ASSISTANCE TO BRAZIL ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND COMBATING DEFORESTATION
REF: A) BRASILIA 1377, B) BRASILIA 1159
1. (U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.
2. (SBU) SUMMARY. Germany has long been the leading contributor of financial and technical assistance to Brazil on deforestation and climate change. It is looking to expand its substantial program of technical assistance at the national and state levels with deforestation, and it also plans to increase its financial assistance with over 100 million Euros on climate change and renewable energy projects. END SUMMARY.
LONG THE LEADING CONTRIBUTOR
3. (SBU) Germany has long played the leading role in the international effort on conserving the Amazon forest. It was a major contributor to the G-7's Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rainforest (PPG7), which was created by the Group of 7 in 1992 and is now winding up. According to Dr. Michael Grewe, Counselor for Technical and Financial Assistance of the German Embassy in Brasilia, the German assistance agency KFW as of September 2008 had contributed approximately 360 million Euros on sustainable forestry activities, protection of indigenous reservations, and land use planning and regulation. (REFTEL A) Further, Jen Ochtrop, the German Development Bank's (KfW) Brazil Director of Programs for the Management of Natural Resources in an October 14 briefing for Embassy Science Officers outlined ambitious plans for future financial assistance. At that same briefing, the Dr. Helmut Eger, the Director of the German Technical Assistance Agency's (GTZ) Program for the Protection and Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests, described expanding an already impressive technical assistance program.
4. (SBU) Germany would still be the leading contributor to Brazil in this area if Norway had not announced in September a one billion dollar pledge to the Amazonas Fund (REFTEL B). Germany is still studying that fund and has not decided whether it will also contribute or not. During the October meeting, Grewe and Ochtrop expressed concerns over the lack of controls and transparency
5. (SBU) Germany has established partnerships with the Ministry of the Environment, FUNAI (the Brazilian Indian Aid Agency), the Ministry of Agricultural, and the State of Amazonas. GTZ and KfW efforts focus on reducing deforestation and promoting sustainable development in the states of Amazonas and Acre. While Germany is looking to expand its impressive environmental efforts, it is no longer working with Brazil on projects to combat poverty. Grewe explained that this is because Germany has determined that Brazil, now a middle income country, has sufficient economic resources to carry out such activities on its own.
AMBITIOUS PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
6. (SBU) According to Ochtrop (KfW) and Egger (GTZ), Germany's priority areas for Brazilian cooperation are: forest conservation and sustainable use; renewable energy and energy efficiency; sustainable development of natural resources with a focus on protected areas; demarcation and protection of indigenous lands; and land use planning and regional development. Germany is also working on capacity building with IBAMA (the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), the Chico Mendes Institute (which manages conservation areas), and the Brazilian Forest Service in the areas of knowledge management and capacity development. The majority of their capacity development work takes place in the State of Amazonas.
7. (SBU) Germany is heavily involved in projects with the Amazonas State Environmental Secretariat as well as other state government institutions in the states of Amazonas and Acre. Much of this activity has occurred since July 2008. Germany participates in land management projects such as the formalizing of land titles and ownership records. The Germans are looking for ways to support the introduction of programs for Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), especially in Amazonas State.
8. (SBU) KfW has started a new climate protection initiative that originated in the German environmental ministry. The German government has allocated approximately 400 million Euros for international climate change projects, which will come from the auction of emission rights under a carbon trading scheme. Of this total, 120 million Euros have been set aside for the initial round of projects, and 20 million Euros are being designated specifically for use in Brazil. 9. (SBU) Over the last two years the Germany has spent approximately 92 million Euros for climate related project. In regard to clean energy projects, Grewe told Science Officers that Germany plans to spend about 100 million Euros on wind energy in Brazil and 89 million Euros on a hydroelectric project. These will be implemented through the electric utilities Electrosul and Electrobras.
10. (SBU) Germany shares many of the USG's concerns and interests regarding deforestation and climate change in Brazil. Germany has brought substantial financial and technical resources to help address these problems, and it plans to expand these efforts. Coordination of USG efforts with Germany and other contributors could offer opportunities to leverage our limited technical and financial resources in these critical areas.