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A classic definition, from Sadler and Verheem , describes SEA as a systematic process to evaluate and to ensure that the environmental consequences of policies, plans and programs are properly considered at the early stages of decision-making. Both are tools to support decision-making, but while EIA is intended to assess the environmental impacts of projects, SEA refers to planning in earlier decision-making stages of the project, at the level of policies, plans and programs PPPs.

However, EIA has established practice whilst SEA, despite its systematic use in some countries, is not yet fully disseminated. Unlike EIA, whose methods and process steps are generally similar in the countries that use it MORGAN, , SEA includes a wide range of design possibilities, as noted by Fischer , since the planning steps contours are more diffuse and less accurate than the steps of engineering projects. Brown and Therivel , p. SEA is an instrument that began to spread in the early s. Therivel identified 20 countries that used SEA systematically and formally by , and Dalal-Clayton and Sadler , in 25 countries in Tetlow and Hanusch , in a poll held in in the most recent conference on SEA of the International Association for Impact Assessment IAIA , observed that the instrument is present in over 60 countries with formal or informal application.

Despite these cases, the lack of a Brazilian regulatory framework on SEA and the gap in the defining the implementation and analysis role result in the inexistence of an official repository of SEA reports developed in Brazil. Although different methodological approaches can be used in jurisdictions where there is no requirement to perform SEA, the lack of a clear framework for decision-making, which requires a certain standardization of methods, reveals a mismatch between technical aspects and the degree of influence of SEA in decision-making.

McGimpsey and Morgan discuss the application of SEA in a non-mandatory context and recommend the development of a conceptual model that can be incorporated into existing guidelines and regulation framework. For the Brazilian case, therefore, the present situation of lack of mandatory SEA allows shaping a process that meets the specific needs of existing plans.

In the case of energy planning, SEA could subsidize the proposed expansion to the different sources of energy, and in the case of ethanol, the sugarcane expansion, besides contributing to the alignment of sectoral policies. The sugarcane expansion in Brazil derives largely from investments of the private sector, occasionally with government incentives.

In the current configuration, long-term projections of the sector are presented in the National Energy Plan and the medium and short term in Decennial Energy Plans PDE , in order to provide to the market with a reference for the sector expansion, allowing minimizing uncertainties in the preparation of strategic planning by the agents BRASIL, The PDE presents trends in the supply of ethanol that would represent a significant expansion of the sector, favoring ethanol over other liquid fuels, estimated as necessary for increasing the sugarcane crop area from 8 million to However, according to Duarte , the PDE forecast is closer to a study of potential than a plan that sets goals to be achieved by the government and by the private sector.

The projected expansion of the sector would imply effects of land use change and consequent interference in socioeconomic and environmental dynamics of regions that will receive the new sugarcane plantations. In Brazil, as in many other countries, there is no specific planning with set goals for the growth of one or other crop.

The land use regulation is mainly by zoning, which present rules prescribing how the various territorial sub-units zones should or should not be used OLIVEIRA, There are also indicative zoning, as opposed to normative zoning, which are only suggestive of the potential use and occupation in their subregions.

In the sugarcane industry, two zonings guide the expansion of this crop. This zoning defines four categories of areas to set up new plants or existing expansions based on criteria related to climate, air quality, relief, soil, availability and quality of water, protected areas and fragments for maintaining connectivity. Zonings are a fundamental part in the planning of land use change brought by the expansion of sugarcane. However, the complex dynamics of social and environmental variables resulting from land use change is not adequately captured only with the use of this instrument, requiring another more suitable one to be integrated into this decision-making context.

The research applied is characterized as exploratory qualitative with methodological design based on the literature review, document study and focus group. For constructing a roadmap, the research was largely based on literature review, discussion and interpretation about i the themes addressed in sugarcane expansion planning; and ii the good practice and SEA procedures that could be adopted for the Brazilian case.

The documental study aimed to identify the main guidelines about the expansion of sugarcane, contained in the energy planning documents of the country.


To this end, PDE in force at the time of the research development was selected as the main document analysis. This choice is justified due to PDE showing expansion projection, considering the non-energy uses of sugarcane, including demand projections for other products, in addition to ethanol. The moderator can record the opinions synthesizing discussions with richness and flexibility that extrapolates the results from individual interviews. The first workshop was held in , during the III Interdisciplinary Workshop for Research on Sustainability Indicators, attended by about 20 professionals from different institutions; and the second workshop, held in at the Institute for Technological Research, counted on the presence of about 10 researchers from different backgrounds belonging to this institution.

These proposals offer differences for designing some steps, so that those references, jointly or separately, guided the preparation of the steps established in the roadmap for the case study. It is notable, however, that other proposals found in the literature correspond to the same logical sequence of technical activities, as in McGimpsey and Morgan , whose denominations are employed: Scoping for the SEA Context and Strategic Focus; Implementation for Analysis and Evaluation; and Monitoring for Follow-up.

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In addition, discussions about the impact assessment of renewable energy were also considered, in particular the recommendations proposed by Mulvihill, Winfield and Etcheverry , Oldreive and White and Noble The proposed roadmap would be applied as a parallel SEA process to a planning which would enable sugarcane expansion, making the interconnnection of relevant topics related to the sustainability of its expansion strategically in both processes.

Thus, we intend to demonstrate that the planned expansion for the sugarcane sector, as in the case of PDE , may occur in line with the principles of sustainability, by using SEA. Moreover, it is emphasized that this roadmap, with adjustments, could be applied to other sugarcane expansion plans and its by-products.

This choice is justified since this approach provides an appropriate scale for understanding the regional context of the sector expansion. The elaboration of the roadmap was guided by the adoption of the criteria proposed by IAIA , which ensure compliance with the SEA good practices highlighted in the international literature, which are presented and discussed in Table 1. The roadmap presented herein, as shown in Figure 1 , seeks to outline a minimum conceptual framework of each step involved for its use.

Source: Prepared by the authors.

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In order to demonstrate the roadmap application feasibility, the sustainability indicators are evaluated for availability of data in existing documents in the country, especially the data on watershed plans. Thus, the inclusion of participatory processes for the PDE through SEA must ensure that the stakeholders' views influence this process during i the definition of strategic objectives; ii the identification of Critical Decision Factors; iii the assessment of opportunities and risks; and iv the development of guidelines for the planning.

This stage comprises four steps that correspond to understanding the context and scope of the environmental planning in focus and the establishment of the key elements of analysis for the baseline construction, in other words, what is expected from a scoping phase THERIVEL, The object of assessment consists in the plan or in development strategies to which the SEA will direct their contributions. Thus, what we intend to discuss and develop is not the design of the planning for the sector, but the inclusion of environmental, social and economic variables, based on the principles of sustainability in existing planning.

Thus, in the case of sugarcane expansion planning, the object of SEA is the PDE , which addresses the sugarcane crop expansion in the country, with the main contributions aimed at evaluating the consequences of different scenarios from a strategic dimension to the region where it is expected to expand, in order to identify the best in the light of the sector sustainability discussions. The strategic objectives should translate or represent the aspirations and inherent needs in a planning process, in order to highlight agendas and competing interests entailing balance and possibility of integration in the analysis.

It must thus address the relevant issues to the planning context. In Therivel's approach , some topics should be selected for a brief baseline that can help to identify problems, and hence SEA can define objectives able to also influence the planning objectives. In the case of PDE, as it is a heterogeneous area in terms of existing social and environmental problems, the proposal is that the analysis are developed for the spatial area of watersheds in which the sugarcane expansion is expected, interacting with the River Basin Plans for each region.

The definition of objectives should take into account existing plans and interaction with stakeholders related to the implementation of these plans. Some strategic objectives that could be adopted are:. These strategic objectives were discussed in the focus group workshops from the subsidies of the sustainability criteria established by Gibson et al.

In designing these objectives, there was an attempt to overcome some of the limitations identified in Gallardo and Bond a; b as the current model of the decision making of sugarcane expansion.

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The broad literature on the environmental, social and economic impacts of sugarcane ethanol contributed to the initial technical support for synthesizing these impacts on CDF during the workshops. The CDF will structure the technical studies and, consequently, assessing opportunities and risks to gather the necessary information for the decision making. These CDF must be the object of public participation and, at least, of consultation with the authorities with environmental responsibilities set out in the legislation.

This step firstly assumes the identification of qualitative or quantitative indicators, representative for the CDF and that meet the strategic objectives set by the SEA.

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The indicators are intended to provide information to help to assess potential impacts direct, cumulative, synergistic and indirect of the sector expansion. According to Dibo , there are weaknesses in the consideration of cumulative impacts in the individual expansion of sugarcane mills. Table 3 presents a basket of 44 sustainability indicators that can be adopted to measure CDF in the established context. From the identification of indicators, it is possible to analyze the current situation of river basins, thus creating a reference scenario for a trend analysis to be performed in the next step.

The identification of the reference situation is focused on pre-selected issues, directed at defined goals Therivel, A description of the dynamics of the basin focusing on issues selected as CDF is the product of this step.

This product can also be presented as a watershed map which defines the potential area to conciliate sugarcane agricultural expansion and possible conflicts with other land uses. This phase is divided into five steps. This scenario, named business-as-usual scenario, is developed from a series of mathematical models based on macroeconomic projections. Ideally, this 5 th step of the SEA framework should be performed at the same time as the business-as-usual scenario of the DPE is developed in order to include the options being evaluated in the context of energy planning.

This sustainability scenario is capable of overcoming potential problems identified in the business-as-usual scenario. Table 4 illustrates a possible result of this step. This author suggests that a SWOT analysis for each CDF must be performed in order to highlight strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to scenarios.

This analysis also makes possible to prioritize a set of impacts not commonly addressed in individual projects analysis, such as cumulative and synergistic impacts. This analysis will help to build the integrated assessment of how each CDF may behave in the expansion of trends within each scenario. Showing the extent of scenarios that achieve the strategic goals of SEA defined in Step 2 is also a task of this step. Guidelines should be developed to be incorporated within energy planning for managing opportunities and threats.

The guidelines may include recommendations on new regulations and institutional changes and measures to be incorporated into the Environmental Impact Assessment process when planned new plant projects are undertaken. The guidelines should also indicate the contents for monitoring the plan. The cultivation of sugarcane continued in the eighteenth century while the tobacco production was still prevailing, but then tobacco growers start moving to the sugar plantations. This is the beginning of what Cuban writer Fernando Ortiz called "the counterpoint of tobacco and sugar.