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The Amazon +10 Initiative and FAPEAM will hold a workshop on the Scientific Expeditions Call in Manaus



The Amazon +10 Initiative, the National Council of State Foundations for Research Support (Confap), the National Council of Secretaries for Science, Technology, and Innovation (Consecti), and the Amazonas State Foundation for Research Support (FAPEAM) will hold a workshop on the Scientific Expeditions Call in Manaus on March 21, 2024. This workshop is launched jointly with the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). The event targets researchers interested in applying for the call and will take place from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm local time in Manaus (10:00 am to 7:00 pm Brasília time) at the Tryp Manaus Hotel in the West Zone, with live streaming available.


The aim of the workshop is to clarify doubts about the call, whose applications close on April 29, as well as to address key topics of the call. The event will provide opportunities for interaction among Brazilian and foreign researchers to form partnerships and discuss proposals.


The event is supported by XPRIZE Rainforest - Tropical Forests, an international award presented by XPRIZE and funded by Alana, worth US$10 million, aimed at accelerating the development of new biodiversity mapping technologies for tropical forests, with its final event taking place this year in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.


Four scientific sessions will also be held during the workshop: the first will present best practices in scientific expeditions, highlighting the participation of renowned institutions in the region, such as the Paraense Emílio Goeldi Museum (Goeldi) and the National Institute of Amazonian Research (Inpa); the second will focus on indigenous and traditional community participation and leadership in research, highlighting the role of PIQCT (Indigenous Peoples, Quilombolas, and Traditional Communities) researchers in knowledge production; the third will cover Ethical and regulatory guidelines for conducting scientific expeditions; and the fourth will discuss emerging technologies in biodiversity and data integration.


About the Scientific Expeditions call

The Scientific Expeditions Call was launched on 16/11 by the Amazon +10 Initiative and CNPq with the aim of funding research aimed at expanding scientific knowledge of sociobiodiversity in little-known areas of the world's largest tropical forest.


Four foreign agencies also participate in the call: the British Council and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), both from the United Kingdom, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) from Switzerland, and the Bavarian University Center for Latin America (BAYLAT) from Germany.


The call has a total fund of approximately R$95 million in resources, with R$30 million made available by CNPq, R$29.2 million by the 19 State Research Support Foundations involved in the call, in addition to foreign contributions of €30,000 from BAYLAT, £5 million (with £4 million provided by UKRI and £1 million by the British Council), and 1 million Swiss francs from SNSF.


Proposals should focus on multidisciplinary scientific expeditions in the Amazon region for a period of up to 36 months, and the minimum value of each selected project will be R$400,000 - with no maximum limit.


"Expeditions can bring very important materials related to regional sociobiodiversity. And this expands our knowledge, much of which will serve as the basis for new research or contribute to solving problems that we identify in our daily lives," said Márcia Perales, president-director of FAPEAM.


Although the Amazon is one of the largest and most intact forests in the world, it is also one of the least known in biological terms. Its immense size, diversity, and limited access make the task of documenting its biodiversity extremely challenging.


The call aims to fill two gaps, one geographical and the other taxonomic, as explained by Carlos Américo Pacheco, Director-president of the Technical-Administrative Council of the São Paulo Research Support Foundation (FAPESP). "We know that areas with strong knowledge about Amazon biodiversity are the most accessible, generally along river routes. But 40% of the Amazon territory is very poorly understood in terms of biodiversity."


This is shown in an article published in July 2023 in Current Biology by the Synergize project, which points out that a large part of the Amazon areas is being neglected by ecology research.


"The other gap is about the taxonomy of the region," added Carlos Américo Pacheco. "Some types of species have very little coverage in terms of biodiversity knowledge - the most severe cases are fungi and bacteria. In relation to bacteria, for example, the implications are significant not only for their economic use but especially when it comes to public health." The intention is for the call to help overcome these gaps.


The call will also support expeditions aimed at expanding knowledge of the sociocultural diversity of traditional peoples in the Amazon. Research will be funded, for example, on the material and immaterial heritage of ancestral, indigenous, and traditional peoples, documentation of indigenous languages and associated knowledge systems, as well as the relationship between territorial dynamics of traditional peoples and the sustainable use of forest natural resources.


For Marcel do Nascimento Botelho, president-director of the Amazon Foundation for Support to Studies and Research (FAPESPA), calls like this are essential. "They are fundamental basic knowledge that needs to be acquired by the scientific community to be transformed into other products, such as the use of biodiversity, the preservation of culture, the valorization of traditional knowledge. Without scientific expeditions, we will not have the basis to do this competently and with the necessary quality."


According to Allan Kardec, Secretary of Science, Technology, and Innovation of the State of Mato Grosso, the joint construction of the Initiative's actions makes all the difference in the final result. "We had the opportunity to follow the preparation of this call, to debate, to express our opinion and bring our technical team to understand the call. We were able to give our perspective and put the seed of regionalism. We are very happy with the proposal."


"The Amazon concerns the whole country and the world," says Odir Dellagostin, president of CONFAP. "Researchers from other parts of Brazil also have an interest in contributing to the region's challenges. This strengthens the Amazon +10 Initiative, and we are very pleased that, at the moment, we have 25 out of 27 FAPs involved in the program."


One of the guidelines of the call is that the material collected in scientific expeditions be cataloged and recorded in Amazonian institutions as a way to preserve this heritage. The final result of the selected proposals will be announced in August 2024.


About the Amazon+10 Initiative

The Amazon+10 Initiative is a project of the National Council of State Foundations for Research Support (CONFAP), the National Council of Secretaries for Science, Technology, and Innovation (CONSECTI), and has the partnership of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). The initiative aims to support research and technological innovation in the Legal Amazon, promoting nature-society interaction and sustainable and inclusive development of the region.


The initiative aims to promote convergent ST&I actions that strengthen guidelines, axes, and propositions of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development of the Amazon, aiming to overcome obstacles to reforesting degraded areas, developing low-emission agricultural activities, adding value to bioeconomy production chains, generating food, producing pharmaceuticals, generating clean energy, etc


About XPRIZE Rainforest | Tropical Forests XPRIZE Rainforest

Tropical Forests is a five-year competition with a $10 million prize. The goal of this edition is to improve our understanding of tropical forest ecosystems worldwide. To achieve this, we encourage participating teams to create agile and autonomous innovations, all to accelerate biodiversity mapping and data acquisition. The prize's intention is to provide researchers with almost real-time insights into tropical forests. Thus, it will be possible to reinforce forest conservation actions more immediately, support an economy for sociobiodiversity, and empower indigenous peoples and local communities worldwide. Learn more at https://www.xprize.org/tropical-forests


About XPRIZE

XPRIZE is a recognized global leader in designing, launching, and executing large-scale competitions to solve humanity's greatest challenges. Our unique model democratizes innovation by encouraging scientifically viable solutions of collective origin to create a more equitable and abundant future for all. Donate, learn more, or join a team at xprize.org.


About Alana

Alana is a socio-environmental impact group that promotes and inspires a better world for children. A sustainable, egalitarian, and plural world. A world that celebrates and protects democracy, social justice, human rights, and children's rights as an absolute priority. A world that cares for its peoples, its forests, its seas, its air. Learn more at https://alana.org.br/

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