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The Ouro Preto Declaration: Brazilian Forest Canopies: Biodiversity and Climate Change (July 2004)

The Ouro Preto Declaration: Brazilian Forest Canopies: Biodiversity and Climate Change (July 2004)

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Published by: Global Canopy Programme on Aug 25, 2008
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05/09/2014

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THE OURO PRETO DECLARATION
on
Brazilian Forest Canopies: Biodiversity and Climate Change1st July 2004
Participants at Brazil’s first International Forest Canopy Workshop hosted at the Universidade Federal deOuro Preto, in Minas Gerais State, between June 28
th
and 1
st
July 2004, comprising researchers, studentsand important members of Research Institutes, Universities, Business, Non-Governmental-Organizationsand Brazilian and Foreign Governmental organisations involved in the pioneering field of forest canopyresearch, do this day solemnly make this declaration.
~ • ~
RECOGNIZING
that the canopy
1
is where the forest meets and interacts with the atmosphere;
RECOGNIZING
that forest canopies are among the least known and studied habitats of the planet andthat they shelter the majority of terrestrial biodiversity;
RECOGNIZING
that Brazil harbours the greatest expanse of tropical forest in the world, possibly beingbiologically the most diverse on the planet, that has an important function in national and global climateregulation, and provides products and ecological services of significant value for Brazilian and foreigncommunities;
CONSIDERING
that the Convention of Biological Diversity (Rio 92) and its Work Programme onForests requests that Governments protect threatened habitats, including forest canopies, and calls formore research of “the interface between forest components and the atmosphere”
CONSIDERING
that the 2002 Cairns Declaration on Forest Canopy Research calls for the development
and implementation of a Global Canopy Programme;
CONSIDERING
the Brazilian biodiversity policy, decree N
o
. 4339;
BELIEVING
that canopy research can help to fill gaps of information identified by the Ad Hoc TechnicalExpert Group on Biological Diversity and Climate change
2
, as well as those identified by the IPCC Reportto the CBD on Climate Change and Biodiversity
3
.
BELIEVING
that forest canopies play a crucial role in; the maintenance of terrestrial water balance; inthe maintenance of the equilibrium of the carbon exchanges between the biosphere and the atmosphere;provide critical environmental services for the sustainability of our planet; represent a wide range of genetic resources; and have a great potential in medicinal, pharmacological, educative, tourist and leisureuse for human communities.
RECOGNIZING
that studies made in the canopy have demonstrated the existence of unique animal andplant groups and an important relationship with atmospheric processes, being one of the main habitatsresponsible for the maintenance of the climatic equilibrium of the Earth;____________________________
1
Defined as the: Assemblage of tree canopies, including a great diversity of biological, physical and chemicalinteractions, which receive the most part of the energy that maintains these ecosystems.
2
SBSTTA 9 (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/9/11),
3
Technical article V
 
EMPHASIZING
that all forests and their canopies are going through a rapid destruction process, withloss of habitats which have direct consequences on the quality of life and that the destruction of forestsand their canopies implies severe environmental, cultural and socio-economical consequences, such asclimate change, species extinction, soil erosion, decrease of the water availability, reduction of the touristpotential, diseases and misery;
WE BELIEVE
that the conservation of a significant proportion of the planet’s biodiversity mustnecessarily involve the conservation of forest canopies.We the undersigned therefore;1
REQUEST
the implementation of an integrated canopy research, education and conservationprogramme that meets Brazilian priorities, with the following objectives:1.1Perform research that is required to investigate the function of the canopy diversity in themaintenance of the environmental services supplied by the forests;1.2Investigate the impacts of the global climate change and other human modifications at theforest / atmosphere interface;1.3Create human resources and infrastructure for the investigation of all forest ecosystems;1.4Develop new methods of sharing the benefits generated from forests to the localcommunities and civil society, through access to new opportunities relating to the forestcanopy;1.5Disperse the results to decision makers, including public authorities, educators,entrepreneurs and local communities.2
WE RECOMMEND:
2.1Encouragement of comparative and long term research among different sites;2.2The establishment of research sites that include structures that allow the observation,inventory, monitoring and forest preservation;2.3The extension, development and qualification of human resources and infrastructure;2.4Research and stimulate the sharing of derived benefits from the canopy such as, forexample, the sustainable use of its resources and ecotourism;2.5Incentivise and promote programme’s of communication and dissemination of canopyresearch results for decision makers and not just for the academic community;2.6That the described activities in this declaration, when appropriate, should be integratedinto the international programmes developed by the Global Canopy Programme.3
WE OFFER
, through the Brazilian scientific and conservation community:3.1An emergent network of experienced and qualified canopy researchers and their accessmethods;
 
3.2The integration of these proposed activities with the long-term research and monitoringnetworks already in existence in Brazil including the Long Term Ecological ResearchProgramme (PELD) and Large-scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Programme (LBA);3.3 A working plan for the development of a project programme focused on integratingcanopy research;3.4 The establishment of a canopy research training programme at post-graduate level, basedon the existence of specialists and an already established methodology, and the possibleextension of this programme for graduate students, environmental administrators,educators, field technicians and those interested.4
WE REQUEST
from the Brazilian Government the implementation of its responsibilities under theExpanded Working Plan on Forests, of the Convention on Biological Diversity, through the supportand encouragement of the development of a canopy research, education and conservation programme.5.
WE ASK FOR
support from national agencies as well as the national and international donorcommunity to offer financial assistance for the implementation and maintenance of a canopy researchprogramme in Brazil.6.
WE INVITE
Brazilian Scientific Institutions to establish research partnerships in the conduct of research of this proposal and for insertion in already existing international partnerships.
SIGNED
this day 1
st
July 2004, at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil.

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