Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), a nonprofit ecological research group based in Portland, Maine, conducts innovative wildlife science worldwide.
BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies plays a lead scientific role in understanding the exposure and effects of mercury on wildlife in New England, North America, and around the world. The Center for Waterbird Studies is dedicated to assessing current and emerging threats to waterbirds. The programs in our Center for Ecology and Conservation Research aim to understand the workings of wildlife and their habitats while exploring how ecological stressors affect different species and ecosystems.
Below is an archive of our news releases. For more information on any of these topics, please contact our communications department.
Communications Director: Deborah McKew
Biodiversity Research Institute Signs Scientific Collaboration Agreement with Federal Government of México
Gorham, ME—Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) announced today that the Institute has endorsed a technical-scientific cooperation agreement on the issue of mercury with México’s major federal environmental agency, the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC). The agreement allows the Maine wildlife research group to conduct scientific research in México in full cooperation with that country’s federal government.
“This agreement indicates a win-win for both our organizations,” says David. C. Evers, Ph.D., BRI’s executive director and chief scientist. “BRI and INECC have long-term investments of people and resources in the study of environmental contaminants such as mercury and other heavy metals. Undoubtedly, this agreement with the Méxican government will prove a powerful tool for research and education as we work to further understand and minimize the effects of pollutants like mercury to both wildlife and humans in our neighboring countries.”
The bi-national agreement comes after a 14-month process of negotiation. In a statement released by INECC on November 26, Victor Gutiérrez Avedoy, INECC general director, National Center for Environmental Research and Training, said, “This agreement will boost the development of actions taken by INECC mainly on the monitoring of mercury in air, rainwater, sediment, soil, and fish. This collaboration will enable INECC and other federal institutions to participate on a regional project with the United States to form a database in western North America to quantify the influence of land use, habitat, and climate factors that affect the distribution and the health risk of the toxic metal.”
H. Bruce Rinker, Ph.D., BRI’s director of scientific advancement and development, helped facilitate the negotiations and participated in a ceremonial signing of the agreement held in México City on November 21, 2012. “This international collaborative is a significant achievement for BRI,” says Rinker. “It will allow us to work independently and collaboratively with the federal government of México on a global and pernicious environmental contaminant.” BRI researchers are developing projects in Baja California, the northwestern Sonora Desert, and the Yucatán Peninsula. The Yucatán Peninsula, notably in and around the village of Mahahual in the southeastern portion of the Peninsula, is already a BRI focus regarding another widespread environmental issue—the impact of marine plastics pollution on wildlife associated with the Mesoamerican Reef System.
Along with Rinker, Dr. Francisco Barnes Regueiro, president of INECC, and Mr. Victor Gutiérrez Avedoy, other official attendees at the signing in México City included Dr. Martha Elena Ramírez Islas and Dr. Faviola Altuzar Villatoro, both with INECC, and Santiago Lobeira and Manolo Ruiz. Lobeira and Ruiz are administrators for Sustenta.com, a green marketing and communications company based in México City. Lobeira serves on BRI’s board of directors.
The mission of Biodiversity Research Institute is to assess emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems through collaborative research, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers. BRI researchers work throughout the world in a variety of ecosystems and with a variety of wildlife species. Since its inception, the Institute has been a leader in research designed to understand the exposure and effects of mercury in ecosystems. To learn more about BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies, visit www.briloon.org/hgcenter.
INECC is responsible for the generation of scientific and technical information on environmental issues in México, and the training of human resources, in order to inform Mexican society, support the country’s decision makers, encourage its citizens to protect the environment, promote the sustainable uses of the country’s natural resources, and to support the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources in reaching his or her goals. See www.gob.mx/inecc for more information.
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