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climatic changes

Effort on three fronts

Agreement encourages collaboration between researchers from São Paulo, Pernambuco and France

FAPESP and Facepe (the Foundation for Science and Technology Aid of the State of Pernambuco) entered into a scientific and technological cooperation agreement in aid of projects carried out by São Paulo and Pernambuco researchers in the field of global climate change. The financial aid consists of R$4 million to be disbursed over five years and shared equally by the two foundations. Besides the cooperation of these two states, the initiative is open to scientific cooperation with France. Facepe and FAPESP negotiated with ANR, the French National Research Agency, an agreement allowing collaborative projects among researchers from São Paulo, Pernambuco and France to be funded by the three agencies. ANR may finance half the amount of those projects that attract French researchers, with FAPESP and Facepe covering the other half.

“FAPESP has been signing bilateral agreements with foundations from other states and with international finance agencies, but this three part model is new for us,” said Celso Lafer, FAPESP’s president. “It’s an interesting model for a theme that is global by nature, namely, climate change.” According to Diogo Ardaillon Simões, Facepe’s president, the agreement started being discussed last year, after the launch of the FAPESP Program of Research into Global Climate Change, which, among several objectives, tried to mobilize researchers from several parts of the country and establish partnerships with other foundations from other states. “When FAPESP launched this program designed to articulate and increase the capacity of Brazilian climate change research, it became clear to us that Pernambuco should join this initiative,” said Ardaillon. The opportunity to involve France, according to him, arose later, when ANR released a public notice that considered international collaboration on research into environmental changes. For Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz, FAPESP’s scientific director, articulation is essential for research into climate change. “The subject demands that large research groups be brought together. We hope that the scientists get together and respond to the calls for projects,” he stated.

The agreement involved four specific interest themes, such as detecting oceanic climate change by monitoring the Atlantic, the impact on water resources in the Pernambuco semi-arid regions and in the state of São Paulo, the vulnerabilities that result from the sea level change and the mapping of the use and cover of the soil, using remote sensing and mathematical modeling, among other techniques. “We want to add muscle to our research  that can have an impact in Pernambuco, such as the rise in the sea level,” said Ardaillon. “Recife is already facing problems and is considered one of the most threatened coastal cities,” he states. ANR wants to invest in broader subjects, which, however, do not exclude the topics of interest to the two Brazilian foundations. A call for proposals has already been divulged. The proposals can be submitted up to June 25, if they involve cooperation with ANR, or up to July 13, if they only concern FAPESP and Facepe.