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Brazil and the United Kingdom announce contributions to an environmental program in the Amazon

Brazil and the United Kingdom announce contributions to an environmental program in the Amazon

The British government announced on Wednesday (24) that it would donate 2 million pounds, about R$12.3 million, to a project in the Amazon jungle. The announcement was made during a visit to the AmazonFACE research facility by James Cleverley, UK Minister for Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development.

The system is located 80 km north of Manas, and the program towers over the Amazon jungle.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), Luciana Santos, attended the visit this Tuesday (23).

With the amount announced today, the United Kingdom is adding 7.3 million pounds (R$ 45 million) from 2021 to support AmazonFACE. The Brazilian government invested R$ 32 million through the National Fund for Science and Technology Development (FNDCT). Minister Luciana Santos announced the release of funds during the visit.

According to MCTI, the AmazonFACE results will help the international scientific community better understand how giant rainforests can help mitigate global climate change, as well as increase the precision of its vulnerability to global warming.

“This initiative has a central contribution to the most appropriate responses in achieving global climate goals,” the ministry added.

“AmazonFACE is a major scientific collaboration project between the two countries. The United Kingdom is Brazil’s second largest science and technology partner and has collaborated on at least 700 bilateral research initiatives over the past seven years”, the ministry highlighted.

AmazonFACE was coordinated by scientists from the National Research Institute on the Amazon (Inpa/MCDI) and the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) in international collaboration with the British government and is implemented by the Met Office, the British Meteorological Service.

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The experiment aims to answer the following global question: “How will climate change affect the Amazon rainforest, the biodiversity it harbors and the ecosystem services it provides to humanity?”.

To this end, AmazonFACE assesses the ability of rainforests to respond to high levels of carbon dioxide (CO₂) and the impacts of this process on global climate, biodiversity and ecosystems. That is: how the forest responds to increasing CO₂ concentrations to understand its role in the context of climate change.


Facing technology

The test uses FACE technology (Free air carbon dioxide concentration), or external carbon dioxide concentration, in Portuguese. The technology releases carbon dioxide-enriched air over plants and monitors their responses.

According to the ministry, this will help understand how increased CO₂ changes leaves, roots, soil, water cycle and nutrients in the Amazon forest.

The impact around the test site in the Amazon will be minimal and all carbon released will be offset by planting trees in areas bordering deforestation.

The technology has been around since the 1990s and has already been used in projects in temperate forests in the United States and Australia and the United Kingdom. AmazonFACE is unique in the rainforest.


infrastructure

According to the ministry, the rings are under construction to carry out the experiment (Layers) in an area reserved for research in the Amazon rainforest.

Each ring consists of 16 towers, 35 meters high and 30 meters in diameter, surrounding around 50 mature trees. It is through these towers that CO₂-laden air is released. They will be connected to monitoring sensors that measure CO₂ concentration in the air. There will be six rings in total.

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Each ring has a crane about 50 meters high, which allows scientists to collect materials and observe what is happening above the trees.

All six loops are expected to be operational by early 2024.

* With information from MCTI