The US-Brazil Environmental/Business Cross Cultural Initiative is a project proposed partnership by two US and two Brazilian universities. The partners include (1) the University of West Florida (UWF), Pensacola, Florida, the US lead; (2) Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), Tallahassee, Florida, a coordinating university; (3) Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), the Brazil lead; and (4) Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC), a coordinating university.
This international collaboration will provide a unique opportunity for students from two diverse nations to explore a current and relevant topic which affects the natural environment, local social systems, and the global economy. The focus of the project is,”Sustainability Challenges and Attractiveness of Investments in Bio Fuel Production,” demands a higher-level of trans-cultural awareness given the impact alternative sources of energy have on natural systems and socio-economic structures.
Natural resources are strategic assets that offer both Brazil and the US opportunities for economic diversification and integration of bio-fuel utilization in their economic activities. However, large scale bio-fuel production is not free from adverse effects on both nature and population. This Consortium blends knowledge of agribusiness with politics and environmental sciences to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of the potential beneficial impacts and negative consequences of large-scale bio-fuel production. Students from the US will travel to Brazil and experience the unique environmental challenges faced in Brazil today by the large scale production of ethanol. They will also have an opportunity to perform research with faculty and graduate students in Brazil where our partner universities have extensive resources for advanced research. Brazilian students traveling to the US will also have an opportunity to participate in research and to see how Americans approach their own environmental challenges due to the rapid expansion of ethanol production. Besides the large scale ethanol production in both countries, there are also challenges derived from the growth of other crops that are used as raw material for bio-fuel production.