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Cablegate: Brazil: Launch of Oes-Funded Project Concerning Land-Based

VZCZCXRO2658
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBR #1066 2391626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271626Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4940
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4441
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8109
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9849
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BRASILIA 001066

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/PCI - L.SPERLING

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EINV EAGR KSCA BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: LAUNCH OF OES-FUNDED PROJECT CONCERNING LAND-BASED
SOURCES OF MARINE POLLUTION

(U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION.

1. (SBU) Embassy Brasilia, in conjunction with the Bureau of
Oceans, Environment and Science (OES), has awarded a USD 75,000
grant to support the reduction of land-based sources of marine
pollution in Brazil. The request for proposals was issued on
February 20, 2009 and there were four responses submitted by the
deadline of March 31, 2009. The Embassy's review panel selected the
proposal submitted by the Department of Genetics at the Federal
University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). The UFRJ will be responsible
for developing the project over the next two years.

2. (SBU) The project is focused on the land-based sources of
pollution which affect the Abrolhos Reef Bank, located off the
northeastern coast of Brazil. This reef is one of the most
important reef biomes in the world. The region also sustains
important fishing activity that represents the main source of food
and employment for thousands of people. The main reef-building
coral species of the region are under great risk of extinction due
to the increasing pollution and sedimentation related to pesticides
used by the region's intensive wood farming industry. The residues
of these chemicals are discharged into the nearby Abrolhos Bank.
The result is a significant decline in the coral coverage which
corresponds to the expansion of wood related agribusiness in the
region. The degradation of the reef systems can be reversed, if the
local stressors are reduced by means of better farm management
practices.

3. (SBU) The project consists of three phases: initial data
collection to establish a baseline for the current health of the
Abrolhos Reef; the screening and identification of bio-control
agents that could replace existing pesticides and fungicides; and a
pilot project in which these new agents will be used in a small
scale pilot project. By the end of the project, the grantee will
have selected appropriate bio-control microorganisms and conducted
field trials in cooperation with local wood farmers. The improved
farming practices developed by this project will be replicable and
will have implications for the future management, protection, and
recovery of coral reefs.

4. (SBU) The principal investigator (PI) for this project is a
professor at UFRJ, the largest federal university of Brazil, and his
research team consists of highly qualified researchers who have
managed grants from different national and international agencies
and belong to renowned Brazilian institutions. The grant will allow
that a successful and previously collaborating team tackles an
important issue related to marine pollution in Brazil.

KUBISKE

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