Economy & Energy
Year XVI-No 84
January /Marchr 2012
ISSN 1518-2932


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Brazil and the Ocean in the XXI Century – Second Edition: An accepted challenge!





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Brazil and the Sea in the XXIth Century – Second Edition:

Accepting the challenge!

Luiz Philippe da Costa Fernandes

Executive Coordinator of Cembra


The updating of the publication “O Brasil e o Mar no Século XXI – Relatório aos Tomadores de Decisão no País” (Brazil and the Sea in the 21st Century – Report for the Decision Makers) is described. It is foreseen the virtual updating of the publication in the Center of Excellence of the Brazilian Sea – CEMBRA site.

Key-words: Brazil, excellence center, Brazilian sea, CEMBRA

I – Introduction

The readers of the e&e periodical may remember an article about the now dissolved Independent National Commission on the Sea (CNIO)[1]. In this Commission, after examination of existing records and presentation of its main activities, it was discussed the first edition (1998) of the book “O Brasil e o Mar no Século XXI – Relatório aos Tomadores de Decisão no País” (Brazil and the Sea in the 21st Century – Report for the Decision Makers of the Country) considered as an unprecedented document since it presented a diagnosis of the main issues related with the Brazilian ocean.

At that time the book was divided into five parts (Legal and Safety Aspects, Brazil and its Economic Interests in the Sea, Scientific and Technological Aspects, Brazilian Perspective and Conclusions) that were developed in 17 chapters. The results of a Public Opinion Poll about the Sea was also presented in one of its annexes, covering all main aspects of interest connected with the sea and this had the merit of being the first poll carried out in Brazil about the subject, as far as we know.

Finally, after the CNIO dissolution it was clear that a new Commission in the same model should be created and it seemed that the book published in 1998 should be updated in order to be used by our decision makers. And the article was concluded with a high-spirited challenge:

“Who is candidate to achieve this worthy purpose?”

II – Accepting the challenge

Sometime after the article was published, we have accepted the combined invitation of the e&e Organization and the Space Centers and Excellence Networks (Ecentex/Coppe) in order to discuss the intended re-edition in the context of a new commission that would be eventually created. Aiming at this objective, some meetings were arranged and afterwards it was concluded that it was needed the creation of a new organ that would be able to continue the activities that were so well pursued by the old CNIO, emphasizing the re-edition of “O Brasil e o Mar no Século XXI”. Under the obvious and welcome influence of Ecentex, it was decided to create a new Center of Excellence that would deal with the issues connected with the sea, specifically the “Brazilian Sea”, defined as the ocean region where Brazil has the rights regarding sovereignty and jurisdiction according to what is established in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, an area that is being called “Blue Amazon”.

The article about the methodological base of excellence centers, already known by our readers[2], does not need any comments about this interesting organizational practice. It should be mentioned that on August 27, 2009 it was held the first formal meeting of the new Center of Excellence on the Brazilian Sea (Cembra in Portuguese)[3]. It was not forgotten the initial emphasis regarding the updated re-edition of “O Brasil e o Mar [ ...]”, since in the second Cembra meeting this became its first Structuring Project.

III – Preparation of the second edition of “Brazil and the Sea in XXI th Century”

Considering the good results of the systematic approach adopted in the initial edition, it was decided that it should be repeated. So, a new selection of distinguished consultants was made to elaborate the basic text of each chapter after revision and updating of the 1998 edition. For this starting point it was fundamental the support of the Secretariat of Inter-ministerial Commission for the Sea Resources (Secrim).

In 2010 three regional workshops were organized at the Federal University of Rio Grande (Furg) – in July 6 – 8, at the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute of Engineering Post-Graduation and Research (Coppe/UFRJ) – in July, 14 - 16 and at the Institute of Sea Sciences (Labomar/UFC)- in August, 3 - 5, respectively in the South, Southwest and North/Northeast regions. For this purpose it was established a profitable partnership among the involved Cembra / Foundation of Sea Studies (Femar) / Universities that permitted discussions, focused on regional aspects, about studies carried out by the consultants and compared with the original edition (1998). In the whole, the studies were made by 18 Working Groups involving 157 professors, researches and technicians who gave valuable contributions that have enriched the final product. In this case, the financial support was divided in equal parts between Femar and the host Universities.

It should be mentioned the dedication devoted to the activities of the Groups and the continued collaboration, even after the events, among Cembra and the coordination of each workshop which made easier the subsequent task. Naturally, this phase presented difficulties regarding the satisfaction of points of view about this or that but considering that Cembra has arrived at a satisfactory text edition even though, obviously, it does represent unanimity about all presented issues.

Regarding the necessary subsidies for the new edition, the new public opinion poll about the sea at national level, like the one carried out in 1997, should be specially mentioned not only because of its intrinsic value but also because of the difficulties involved. Actually after the Navy had transferred the funds, the bidding carried out by Femar, with rigid terms for each phase and the usual resources, had as result the delivery of the poll results by the Virtu enterprise only six months after the tender was made (March 11). The new poll (2000 interviews) consisted of a questionnaire containing 44 questions draw up by Cembra that, like the previous one, adequately covered the main issues relative to the sea. Now questions about Energy of the Sea, Marine Biotechnology and Climate Change were included (the questions can be found at

IV – “Brazil and the Sea XXIth Century– Report for Decision Makers of the Country” – second edition – January 2012

The first 1.500 copies of the second edition (total of three thousand) were published in February of the current year and they were printed by the Navy Hydrography Base in Niteroi. They will be distributed in appropriate packaging so that they can be easily posted.

In the new edition, with information updated until December 31, 2010, the text is distributed in nine parts grouped in related subjects including three additional chapters:

Law and Security of the Sea, with two chapters: Law of the Sea and Security of the Sea;

The Sea – source of energy and mineral resources, with three chapters: Oil Exploitation, Energy of the Seas and Mineral Resources;

The Sea – source of food, with two chapters: Fishing and Aquaculture;

The Sea –means of transport, with three chapters: Merchant Marine, Ports and Naval Construction;

The Sea – Ecology and Tourism, with three chapters: Coast Ecosystems, Marine Pollution and Marine Tourism;

The Sea – Sustainable Development, with one chapter;

The Sea – Science, Technology and Innovation, with three chapters: Science, Technology and Innovation, Marine Biotechnology and Climate Change;

The Sea – A National Perspective, with two chapters: The sea and the perception of Brazilians and Maritime Mentality; and

Conclusions containing the last chapter.

There are 20 chapters in the whole that, including four annexes (The Excellence Center on the Brazilian Sea, Results of the public opinion poll relative to the Brazilian Sea, carried out in 2011, Regional Workshops and Abbreviations and Acronyms.

Like in the original edition, there are some aspects that distinguish it from those of equal nature:

  • Initially, the national decision makers have preference (but professors, researchers and students connected with the sea can profit as well). Due to this priority, specific suggestions are given at the end of each chapter;  

  • In a single publication are gathered the main issues related to the sea when usually these studies includes only a reduced number of correlated items (fishing & aquaculture, oil & mineral resources, merchant marine & naval construction, pollution & coast ecosystems etc ...). “O Brasil e o Mar [ ... ]”, besides the usual items focused in more specific sea publications, includes chapters about Law of the Sea, Security of the Sea Maritime Tourism and Marine Mentality; and

  • Finally, a pioneer study as far as we know, it includes as Annex a national public opinion poll about the sea whose results are included in a specific item of the book.

Incidentally, this second poll is more important than the first one because, besides the intrinsic answers obtained; it permitted to evaluate how the Brazilian mentality regarding the sea has developed after 14 years. In this context it is worthwhile to mention the indication of ten maritime issues that, according to their vision, have the best (and also the worst) conditions in the conjuncture.

In the next future it is foreseen the regional distribution of the book under the auspices of Furg, Coppe and Labomar. It is also envisaged the distribution to Congress members and the high echelon of the Executive Power in Brasilia.

It would be impossible to close this topic without mentioning the fundamental support of the Brazilian Navy regarding the necessary initial consulting specialists, the execution of the public opinion poll and the printing of the book. Without this support the 2nd edition of the book would certainly not be published. It should not be forgotten the support of some institution that had confidence on the new Center, namely: the three mentioned Universities (Coppe/UFRJ, Furg,  Labomar/UFC), Femar, OGX, the Navy Club, Ecentex, the e&e Organization and the Society of the Navy’s Friends of Rio de Janeiro. Cembra is grateful to these institutions.

V– The next step – the permanent updating of the virtual book

It should be mentioned Cembra’s concern about the updating of the huge mass of relevant information contained in the second edition of the book. The great difficulties faced to reedit the book are still present and this occurred 14 years after the first one, mainly the volume of the necessary financial resources. For this reason Cembra has envisaged a procedure to maintain “alive” the second edition, namely a virtual updating mechanism which seems simple but due to its newness it will need considerable efforts. For this reason a new Structuring Project [4] for this activity was approved – already in the form to be sent to the financing institutions – which, it is hoped, will be as successful as the paper edition.

For this purpose, partnerships were set up with individual persons of acknowledged competence in their fields aiming at updating the publication. This step presents no difficulties considering the partnerships set for the second edition and the fact that competent specialists from Furg and Coppe, Partner Founders, will be able to deal with some chapters.

Under the responsibility of Cembra it is intended to virtually include these updating in the site of the Center of Excellence in a well visible way. In principle only additions relative to relevant facts (examples: legislative or executive norms that are important for the theme; call for meetings of distinguished scientific value; establishment of important new programs etc.) as well as pertinent comments. In principle it is not envisaged the revisions of existing long texts unless they are affected by the inclusions made. The frequency of dissemination of alterations will be annual, in principle. But the experience gained with the full implantation of the Project may indicate a reduction or amplification of the foreseen time, per chapter.

The virtual media will also be used to shape the so called Cembrapedia, whose systematics was approved in the beginning of last March and aims at permitting permanent communication among researchers/professors and university students connected with sea matters - but also available to the general public – and Cembra through chosen consultants. A system to be developed will include an adequate input to the Cembra site, namely “Pending Messages”. After approval, the messages, together with pertinent answers given by the consultants, will be transferred to the page corresponding to the chapter so that the public can assess it. About twenty pages will be available for this purpose as a function of the chapters. This opportunity for information exchange among internet users and consultants is also a skilful form to build the maritime mentality in the country.

The Project will be implemented in two distinct phases based on the adequate share of the goals to be reached:

  • The first phase corresponds to the implementation of the Structuring Project, lasting one year. In the period, with a smaller share of the foreseen resources, consulting services will be elaborated for all chapters of the publication and the software for Cembrapedia will be developed and it is foreseen that it will be operating in an experimental basis. In this phase the edition will be updated until December 31, 2012. (The second edition was updated in December 31, 2012).

  • In the second phase each consultant will get a fixed pro-labore per month in order to interact with the public as foreseen by Cembrapedia – in full operation – and more for consulting services for the annual updating.

Naturally the main advantage of the Project is to permit the existence in the country, in only one virtually updated publication, the subsidies necessary for decision makers and as support for their activities connected with the sea. But the permanent updating of the book will benefit not only the decision makers. Using this information, professors, researches, university students in general interested in subjects relative to the Brazilian Sea. This extension also applies to Cembrapedia, open to all those interested, with the usual restrictions of this media (it is not permitted the use of offensive terms or improper language in the Internet, etc.)  

VI – Conclusion – new challenge...

The adequate dissemination of knowledge and innovation is more and more prized. The activities carried out along the execution of its first Structuring Project – the revised and amplified edition of the “O Brasil e o Mar [ ... ]” book, now concluded, and its second one , namely, the permanent and virtual updating of this publication demonstrate that Cembra is progressing in both fields. The result, still modest but certainly promising, provides evidence for recognition from financing organizations.

Cheered by his success of the challenge posed more than three years ago, as mentioned above, the author poses a new challenge.

Who will take the position now to support the new Cimbra project aiming at updating, virtually and permanently, the “O Brasil e o Mar no Século XXI”, a publication that is relevant for decision makers and all Brazilians concerned with the Brazilian Sea?

[1]The Independent National Commission on the Oceans – a memorable experience!” Luiz Philippe da Costa Fernandes. In: Economy & Energy, nº 69, August/September. 2008.

[2]Spaces Centers / Network of Excellence: Concept, Actions and Products” – José Fantine. In: Revista Energia & Economia, nº 70, out./ nov. 2008.

[3] Cembra has as Founding Partners the Brazilian Navy (represented by the Director of Hydrography and Navigation), Coppe/UFRJ and the Federal University of Rio Grande (Furg). Other Partners are Femar (Sea Studies Foundation), the e&e Organization, besides specialists and consultants.

[4] More adequately, “a Structuring Action”, considering its intended permanent character in time.

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Monday, 08 October 2012

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