Brazil's biodiversity researchers need help

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Science  21 Jun 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6446, pp. 1144-1145
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9478

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  • Brazil’s political –financial crisis and the threat to Biological Collections
    • Thiago Junqueira Izzo, Associate Professor, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Instituto de Biociências, Cuiabá-MT, CEP-78060-900, Brazil
    • Other Contributors:
      • Rodrigo Machado Feitosa, Adjunct professor, 2Universidade Federal do Paraná, Departamento de Zoologia, Caixa Postal 19020, Curitiba – PR, CEP 81531-980, Brazil

    Abstract: The recent political crisis in Brazil and its consequences on human rights and environment have been occupying the front pages of international newspapers. Particularly, the cuts in the funds for the maintenance of Public Universities, independent of ideology or need, is threatening our biodiversity knowledge. The major part of Brazilian biological collections is hosted by Public Universities. Without basic maintenance there is an imminent potential of a catastrophic deterioration on such collections, leading to the loss of decades of knowledge and millions of dollars in Scientific Investment. Brazilian and international communities need to mobilize themselves against such a policy.

    Letter: Brazil´s political crisis is bringing attention and concern around the world (1). The Brazilian Academy is being affected by an ideological crusade against areas associated by the present government to the left-wing. Therefore, several cuts in governmental spending are being carried out in the name of balancing the economy (1-2). Although such cuts hypothetically are effective on the financial balance, in the short term they bring harmful consequences once will affect research fellowships, grants, water and energy supplies, security and cleaning services in Federal Public Universities (2).
    Usually, the major part of Biological Collections is maintained by University funds. Biological collections are priceless to a nation by hosting tissues, genetic material and r...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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