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Brazil Allocates US$ 8 Million to Study the Antarctic

Science and Technology minister Sérgio Machado Rezende
Brazil's Proantar, the Brazilian Antarctic Program, which develops scientific research on Antarctic phenomena that cause climate impacts in the country and worldwide, should receive investment of 15 million Brazilian reais (US$ 8.1 million) from the federal government.

This is the greatest investment received by the program since Brazilian activities began in the region.

The funds are turned to future research projects in the scope of the Proantar, which may be presented at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT) up to late October. The call to tender for projects was published in the Official Gazette of the Union and launched during an event at the ministry.

Of the total, 12 million reais (US$ 6.5 million) should be used for cooperation between Latin American countries and 3 million reais (US$ 1.6 million) to the environmental monitoring of Antarctica. Each project may cost up to 1 million reais (US$ 540,000).

"We are going to present research connected to geographic and anthropological aspects, for example," stated the general coordinator for the Sea and Antarctica at the MCT, Maria Cordélia Machado.

Proantar began in 1982, the year in which the first Brazilian expedition to the Antarctic took place.

"Proantar is inspired on suggestions on the international environment and they are incorporated into the program. Scientists are interested in understanding how global changes are interfering in the Antarctic, how the Antarctic is reacting to these changes and what the consequences of these changes are," explained the geologist at the Geosciences Institute of the University of São Paulo (USP) and member of the Proantar, Antonio Carlos Rocha Campos.

According to the MCT, after the period for presentation of the research projects, the ministry should promote a campaign, in November and December, about the Brazilian expeditions to the Antarctic.



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