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Royal couple visit Brazil on environmental mission

By
MICHAEL MOLINSKI

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana flew to Brazil Monday for a five-day trip aimed at boosting environmental issues and trade relations between the two nations.

The highlight of the trip was to be a private, daylong seminar on environmental conservation aboard the royal yacht near the northern city of Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River.

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Among those scheduled to attend were Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello; William Reilly, director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, British Environment Minister David Trippier and his Brazilian counterpart, Jose Lutzenberger, along with several top U.S., European and Brazilian bankers, businessmen and environmentalists.

The trip has been billed as a mission of environmental cooperation between Brazil and Britain, which has been intensified since they signed an agreement in 1989 to work closely on environmental issues.

While in Brazil, Charles was to visit two successful conservation projects: an iron mine in Carajas, in the state of Para, and a reforestation project in Espirito Santo sponsored by a British-Brazilian paper company, Aracruz.

The royal couple's first stop was to be in Brasilia, where they were to meet with Collor.

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Besides the environmental issues, the prince of Wales will be boosting British products during his visit. His agenda includes a day in Sao Paulo, Brazil's financial capital, to meet with local industry leaders.

The royal party will be flying around Brazil in two British Aerospace 146 jets, which England exports to Brazil and hopes to send more. And on the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, the prince and princess will be riding in Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit 2 automobiles.

With exports to Brazil now liberalized under Collor's economic plan, Britain plans to export the cars beginning next month at a retail cost in Brazil of about $350,000.

The conservation projects Charles is to visit are among five being developed with joint-sponsorship by Brazil and Britain. Brazil also hopes to win financing from England for three more projects that are still in the planning stages.

The two countries also are involved with several scientific studies regarding the environment in Brazil and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.

Among them is the Anglo-Brazilian Amazonian Climate Observation Study, whose Brazilian acronym, ABRACOS, means embraces. The project is aimed at studying the effects of deforestation on the climate. England is one of the largest consumers of Brazilian wood.

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The royal visit, which appropriately began on Earth Day, also serves as one of several warmups for Rio-92, next year's UN-sponsored, worldwide environment conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro.

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