On October 4th, Dave Nemazie and I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the third set of meetings to work on the Guanabara Bay Report Card. We presented the draft report card and report card website at the INEA (State Environmental Institute) offices to Andre Correa, the Secretary of the Environment for the State of Rio. On October 5th, we met with the secretary and his cabinet as well as other groups working on Guanabara Bay Restoration. Our partners Bob Summers, Joao Coimbra, and Guido Gelli also participated.
Some of the groups that gave presentations besides UMCES were Brazilian Foundation for Sustainable Development (FBDS), Consórcio Labáqua/Aqualogy, Project Coordination Foundation, Research and Technology Studies (Coppetec), and KCI Technologies. The secretary was enthusiastic and excited about the results and progress we’ve made on the report card as well as the website. His support confirms the importance of and need for the report card of Guanabara Bay.
Following our meetings on October 5th, we attended a seminar about the Vulnerability and Governance of Guanabara Bay at the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum. The seminar included several speakers who talked about Guanabara Bay issues focusing on trash and sanitation. One of the powerful movies that was shown was The Discarded: A Tale of Two Rios. After the seminar we were able to explore the Museum’s exhibits, including a beautiful one on Guanabara Bay.
On October 6th and 7th, we attended more meetings related to the project, including meeting with a team that will be working on communication for the Guanabara Bay Restoration work. In addition to the report card, and governance structure needed for Guanabara Bay, a whole communication campaign is needed to inform the public about the work going on as well as to create transparency with the process.
On Saturday October 8th, before our flights left we went to the Pedra do Arpoador, a scenic rocky peninsula between Copacabana and Ipanema, and had a couple hours to sit on the beach at Ipanema. A much enjoyed respite after our meetings to reflect on the beauty of the Rio de Janeiro region, and consider the restoration and hard work needed to revitalize Guanabara Bay.
We plan to be back in Rio in January 2017 for a science and governance conference and the Guanabara Bay Report Card release event.