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Cablegate: Brazil: Meeting of Bilateral Protected Areas Working Group

VZCZCXRO1223
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBR #1265/01 3001327
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271327Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5289
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0009
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8318
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0051
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001265

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAGR EAID KGHG BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: MEETING OF BILATERAL PROTECTED AREAS WORKING GROUP
SETS STAGE FOR COOPERATION

REF: BRASILIA 1153

BRASILIA 00001265 001.2 OF 003


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

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The first meeting of the U.S.-Brazil Protected
Areas Working Group on September 10 highlighted existing areas of
cooperation and identified possibilities for future activities.
These new possibilities include assistance with preparing economic
studies on concessions, developing methods to attract more visitors,
and training of personnel. Also, the meeting obtained the blessing
- and backing - of the Ministry of External Relations (MRE) for the
ongoing and planned cooperative work in the field of protected
areas. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) On September 10, 2009, the first meeting of the Protected
Areas Working Group (PAWG) created under the Common Agenda for the
Environment (CAE) took place via videoconference facilities in
Washington and Brasilia. The USG delegation was led by Lawrence
Sperling, Acting Director of State Department's Office of Policy
Coordination and Initiatives (OES/PCI). Carlos Henrique Moscardo de
Souza, Deputy Chief of the Division for the Environment and Special
Themes (DEMA) of the Ministry of External Relations (MRE) led the
Government of Brazil's (GOB) delegation. Sperling traced the
history of the PAWG back to the 1996 U.S.-Brazil Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) that created the CAE. Moscardo pointed to the
helpful role played by working groups to address important subject
areas under the CAE, specifically water resources (REFTEL) and now
protected areas.

3. (SBU) The USG agencies highlighted their activities, interests
and priorities with respect to Brazil as follows:

- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) described
its ongoing projects in Brazil through the U.S. Forest Service
(USFS) regarding concessions on public lands and public use. USAID
expected to continue working in protected areas, especially with
respect to sustainable landscapes, biodiversity and climate change.

- The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has had a relationship with
Brazilian counterparts, dating back to the 1990's, such as with fire
management and control. Since November 2008, there had been a
series of exchanges and visits between USFS officials and those from
the Institute Chico Mendes for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio),
which manages most national public lands. These efforts have
focused on a variety of topics such as recreation, special uses,
establishing and monitoring concessions and permits, wilderness
conservation and pubic use planning. At the time of the September
meeting, there was another USFS team in Brazil to explore possible
areas of cooperation. In particular, this team was looking at
issues of permits and multi-use, including recreational use.

- The National Park Service (NPS) indicated it wanted to revive a
sister park relationship between the Everglades National Park and
the Pantanal National Park in Brazil, both of which are World
Heritage sites. There are already plans for a Brazilian official
from the Pantanal National Park to spend six weeks in the United
States. This sister park relationship will focus on research and
science. In addition, the NPS was considering a request for
cooperation from the State of Sao Paulo to help in developing a
trail similar to the Appalachian Trail in the United States.
Moreover, the NPS representatives offered to share their experiences
with ecosystem-wide management, which involved coordinating with
other USG agencies, states, municipalities and the private sector
that managed neighboring terrain to a national park.

- The U.S. Department of State (State) described how it could help
support cooperation through its voluntary visitors programs that
could be used to organize productive visits of Brazilian officials
who are in the United States.

4. (SBU) The Brazilian agencies' set forth their key activities,
interests and priorities with respect to cooperation with the USG as
follows:

- The Institute Chico Mendes for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio)
is only two years old, but already has tremendous responsibilities.
ICMBio manages 304 protected areas consisting of about 100 million
hectares. These protected areas receive about three million
visitors a year, and the GOB wants to greatly increase this number.
The GOB has identified 65 protected areas as priorities for
attracting more visitors. ICMBio identified four lines of action or
themes for cooperation with USG counterparts:

(1) Increasing quantity and quality of visits to protected areas in
Amazonia, the Cerrado (the central-west savannah region), and the
Atlantic Forest. This would include cooperation on economic

BRASILIA 00001265 002.2 OF 003


feasibility studies.

(2) Providing technical manuals for protected area staff on
visitation, such as visitor guides and how to design a trail.

(3) Sharing technology for protected areas.

(4) Building capacity among ICMBio's staff for both enforcement and
serving as park rangers. ICMBio has about 700-800 people in
enforcement, though there is not a specific park ranger position.
Park rangers are important for greeting visitors and offering advice
at visitor centers. This effort would include training for ICMBio
specialists in public use planning and its specialists in monitoring
concessions, as well as providing technical assistance in all areas
related to public use planning

In addition, ICMBio indicated it would like to learn from the USG
about how to better utilize the internet and new media to attract
visitors.

- The Ministry of the Environment's (MMA) Secretariat for
Biodiversity and Forests (SBF) expressed an interest in cooperating
with the USG more in the area of biodiversity conservation. SBF
sees developing wildlife corridors as a priority, which would mean
coordinating efforts across national, state and even private lands.
Also, SBF has responsibility for public policy development and is
interested in the area of economic feasibility studies. Increasing
public awareness for protected areas was a priority.

NEXT STEPS

5. (SBU) The USFS and NPS representatives responded positively to
the proposals for possible cooperation by the GOB. They both
indicated that they had experience in the four lines of action
described by ICMBio, as well as with using the internet and new
media, and they could look at possible cooperation in these areas.
USAID indicated it could look into the possibility of supporting
USFS and/or NPS in cooperation in these areas.

6. (SBU) The MMA representatives said that they would like to see a
bilateral instrument of some sort to formalize the work of the PAWG.
This could include such steps as identifying focal points,
developing a plan of action, and laying out terms of reference.

7. (SBU) The MRE and State Department agreed to prepare minutes
from this first meeting of the PAWG. These minutes would then be
presented at the next session of the CAE, which may take place later
in 2009 or early 2010. The two delegations will follow up through
agency-to-agency channels on the ideas and proposals raised during
this first PAWG meeting.

PARTICIPANTS

8. (SBU) The USG participants were:

- Lawrence Sperling, Director (Acting), OES/PCI, State Department
- Cathy Karr-Colque, Ph.D., Senior Conservation Officer, Office of
Ecology and Natural Resource Conservation (OES/ENRC), State
Department
- Anne Dix, Ph.D., Regional Environment Team Leader, Latin and
Caribbean (LAC) Bureau, USAID
- Peter Keller, Regional Environmental Advisor, Latin and Caribbean
(LAC) Bureau, USAID
- Darren Manning, Desk Officer for Brazil and Ecuador, Latin and
Caribbean (LAC) Bureau, USAID
- Stephen Morris, Chief, Office of Int'l Activities, NPS
- Jonathan Putnam, Western Hemisphere Affairs Officer, Office of
International Affairs, NPS
- Michelle Zweede, Brazil Program Officer, Office of International
Programs, USFS
- Richard Driscoll, Environment, Science and Technology, and Health
Counselor, U.S. Embassy Brasilia
- Eric Stoner, Ph.D., Senior Environment Advisor, USAID, Embassy
Brasilia
- Mark Mitchell, USAID, Embassy Brasilia

9. (SBU) The Brazilian participants were:
- Carlos Henrique Moscardo de Souza, Deputy Chief, DEMA, MRE
- Julio Cesar Baena, International Affairs Advisor for Cooperation
Matters, International Affairs Office (ASIN), MMA
- Julio Gonchorosky, General Coordinator for Visiting & Business,
ICMBio
- Ricardo Araujo, Deputy General Coordinator for Visiting &
Business, ICMBio
- Juliana Von Sperling, Advisor to the President, ICMBio
- Fabio Franga Silva Araujo, Director, Department of Protected
Areas, SBF, MMA

BRASILIA 00001265 003.2 OF 003

10. (SBU) COMMENT. The first meeting of the PAWG served to inform
the interested parties on both sides of the variety of ongoing and
projected cooperative activities. Further, it helped to lay out a
path forward for increasing bilateral cooperation in the important
field of protected areas. One substantial benefit from this meeting
of the working group is that it served to obtain the critical
blessing of the MRE for continued cooperative work with protected
areas. END COMMENT.

KUBISKE

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