Cablegate: Usaid/Brazil Environment Program Meeting.

DE RUEHBR #1324/01 3211604
R 171604Z NOV 09




E.0. 12958

BRASILIA 00001324 001.2 OF 002

1. SUMMARY: On October 27-30, 2009, USAID/Brazil Environment Program
held its annual meeting in Belm, State of Par. The objective of
the event was to promote cooperation and better integration among
Program partners, as well as to discuss current themes of
sustainable development in the Amazon region. To accomplish this,
six panels were organized that facilitated the sharing of best
practices, lessons learned, and discussions on technical issues
relating to sustainable development. END SUMMARY.

2. The 17th USAID Brazil Environment Program was held in Belm,
Par, 27-30, October, 2009. The meeting was attended by 123 people
from 13 states of Brazil, representing 51 institutions - both
governmental and non-governmental, including Program partners and
other invited institutions. Participants from USAID/Washington
included Anne Dix, LAC Regional Environment Team Leader, Peter
Keller, LAC Biodiversity Advisor, and Ilya Fischoff, EGAT/GCC AAAS

3. Annual coordination meetings have been held in Brazil since the
inception of the Environment Program in 1990, with the goals of
promoting synergies and better integration among program partners,
as well as to discuss current themes of sustainable development in
the Amazon region. The core theme of the 2009 meeting, "Valuing the
Forest in Times of Change", included six round-table discussions on
different aspects of this topic.
4. Other meeting sessions included presentations on: (a) an outline
of a draft USAID/Brazil Strategy for FY 2010-2014, presented by
Environment Program Coordinator Eric Stoner, (b) an overview of the
Environment Program, presented by USAID/Brazil Senior Environment
Officer Elke Costanti; and (c) results from the capacity building
training course on monitoring and evaluation developed by
USAID/Brazil Consultant Neusa Zimmermann.
5. Opening the meeting, the Environment Program Coordinator
presented a draft of the Environment portion of the USAID/Brazil
Development Strategy for FY 2009-2014, which included input from
partners and stakeholders. The Strategy focuses on the contribution
of sustainable landscapes to biodiversity conservation and climate
change stability, and includes new activities for implementation in
upcoming years. It is structured around USAID's three development
pillars addressing global climate change: (a) clean energy, (b)
sustainable landscapes, and (c) adaptation to climate change.
6. Under the above mentioned development objectives, the draft
Environment Program strategy includes three components: (a)
strengthening the capacity of institutions and individuals, in
forest and grassland areas under pressure to convert to economic
use, by providing support to communities and civil society groups to
promote environmental governance, improve community natural resource
management, and increase use of landscape knowledge; (b)
environmentally sound management of public lands to improve
management of officially designated protected areas, establishing
ethno-environmental corridors, and increasing the sustainable use of
protected areas; and (c) environmentally sound management of private
lands, with the goal of improving monitoring systems of land-based
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, territorial governance, and
opportunities for carbon stock enhancement and emission reduction in
soils and forests.
7. Also, two cross-cutting issues were noted that are relevant for
the success of the strategy: (a) leveraging public-private
partnerships to engage private sector involvement in international
development; and (b) streamlining gender and women in development
activities in all implementing mechanisms.
8. USAID advancements achieved during the last year highlighted the
new partnership with the Government of Brazil (GOB), through the
Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) of the Ministry of the External
Relations (MRE), for trilateral actions. The USG and GOB have
established joint activities to support Mozambique in HIV/AIDS and
food security issues. This partnership will continue and may be
expanded to other countries and areas of development.
9. The meeting highlighted the importance of an efficient system to
monitor and evaluate Environment Program performance. During FY
2009, USAID/Brazil conducted a Data Quality Assessment and developed
a monitoring and evaluation training course for its partners.
Courses were held in Belem, Manaus, Porto Velho and Brasilia
involving 171 participants representing 73 NGOs and 24 public
institutions. Results of the training courses were presented and
discussed. During discussions, course participants described how
they applied the course material including the development of their
own training programs.
10. Continuing efforts to strengthen Environmental Program oversight
of projects, USAID/Brazil outlined two new consultancy services: (a)
a program performance evaluation to verify monitoring systems, data
collection and the reporting process, and (b) a monitoring and
evaluation assessment of indigenous-based projects.
11. The event key-note speaker, Special Advisor of the Ministry of
the Environment for Climate Change, Tasso Azevedo, presented a
summary of various schools of thought on forest and natural

BRASILIA 00001324 002.2 OF 002

resources valuation.
12. The meeting included the following sessions, in a panel format
of four to six speakers per session: (a) Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and Degradation (REDD): Trends and Opportunities; (b)
Building Relationships Between Communities, Private-Sector and
Natural Resource Management; (c) People of the Forest: Conservation
and Autonomy; (d) Women of the Forest: Agenda, Concerns and
Perspectives; (e) Responsible Sourcing and Purchasing; and (f)
Conservation and Recuperation of Degraded Lands.
13. A highlight of the panel on Responsible Sourcing and Purchasing
was a presentation by Adnan Demachki, mayor of Paragominas, on its
program called, "Green Municipality." Paragominas has successfully
addressed deforestation through strong public and private support
for responsible production practices and efforts to eliminate
illegal logging. This experience resulted in the field trip
organized on October 30, 2009, when a group of thirty participants
took a trip to Paragominas, Par, to visit a project integrating
crops and pasture, a reforestation area, a wood flooring plant, and
the Environmental Park of Paragominas. In FY 2010, USAID/Brazil
will support the implementation of a system of land registration
for all rural properties in Paragominas through a partnership with
The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
14. During the meeting, USAID awards of appreciation were given to
partner representatives and community leaders in recognition of
outstanding efforts in support of the Environment Program in FY 2009
and overall contributions to sustainable development in the Amazon
region. The recipients included: (a) Paulo Amaral, Researcher,
Institute for People and the Environment in the Amazon - IMAZON; (b)
Manuel Amaral, Technical Coordinator, International Institute of
Education in Brazil - IEB; (c) Vasco Van Roosmalen, Director, Amazon
Cooperation Team Brazil (ACT-Brazil); (d) Major Alessandro Mariano
Rodrigues, Fire Brigade of Mato Grosso, (e) Enrico Bernardi, Project
Manager, World Vision, (f) Luzia Santos da Silva, Union of Rural
Workers of Boca do Acre, Amazonas (g) Vanderleide Ferreira de Souza,
National Council of Extractivist Population, Lbrea, Amazonas, and
(h) Kleber Karipuna, Executive-Manager, Coordination of Indigenous
Organizations in the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), who received the
award on behalf of COIAB, as an institution.
15. COMMENT. The 17th Annual Environment Program Meeting was a
success. It facilitated the sharing of best practices, lessons
learned, and discussions on technical issues relating to the issues
outlined in the six panels. In addition, it addressed a wide range
of issues essential for the sustainable development of the Brazilian
Amazon region. END COMMENT.

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