An Arab Helpful Hand to Brazilian Deserts

During the international seminar about the semiarid and water resources, which took place in the city of Fortaleza, capital of the northeastern state of Ceará, specialists from 14 Arab and South American countries spotted between 40 and 50 areas in which there is potential for bilateral cooperation.

“I believe that it was an immense success,” stated the director of the Itamaraty (the Brazilian Foreign Office), Antonino Marques Porto.


The deliberations in 10 panels finished yesterday, but the event  continued today, with a visit to the semiarid research center of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), in Petrolina (in the state of Pernambuco, also in northeastern Brazil).


The results of the event will be sent to the Foreign Offices of the countries involved for creation of a pre-program in the science and technology area to be submitted to the summit of Arab and South American heads of state, scheduled to take place in Brazil, in May 2005.


According to Marques Porto, there was equilibrium in the number of experiences presented by both blocks and that may be used in partnerships.


“This is true South-South cooperation, between developing countries,” he stated.


Some of the sectors in which cooperation is possible, according to the diplomat, are the monitoring of groundwater, agricultural cultures tolerant to high levels of salinity, research and exchange of genetic knowledge of plants like grapes, apples, cashew, acerola, maize, soy, and cotton.


Other sector of mutual interest: exchange in the area of molecular genetics, bioinformatics and genomics, and the exchange of strategic information regarding trade of genetically modified organisms, plus clarification to consumers.


He also mentioned the possibility of exchange in the areas of desalinisation of seawater, exploration and preservation of groundwater, weather forecasts, joint confection of climate maps, new technologies for livestock farming, food safety, and reuse of water. The diplomat pointed out that these are only some examples.


“The objective is to provide incentives for joint works in the area of science and technology that may result in products or projects, things that can be patented,” stated Marques Porto.


What areas there will really be partnerships in, how they will be structured, and what financing will be used are topics to be decided during the summit scheduled for next year.


ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency

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