A Brazilian museum is facing major budget cuts. The Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi has closed its Amazon biodiversity research unit and zoological park. Its scientific collections are also threatened.
The museum’s director sent out an open letter to the world. A translation of part of the letter follows.
“[I]n view of the situation as it passes the Goeldi Museum in relation to the cuts promoted by the Ministry of Planning, Planning and Management (MPOG) in the year 2017, and the current budget forecast (PLOA) of 2018, and my obligation as a director of the longest-running public research institute in Amazonia, the third Brazil, [I must] inform the public that:
- we have in the Annual Budget Law (LOA) of 2017, an approved approximately R$12,700,000.00, of which we had a cut (contingency) of 44%, totaling an amount of resources of the order of R$7,100,000.00 to be used in 2017;
- Since 2015, I have been implementing a policy of spending cuts, especially with outsourcing expenses, and thereby ‘saving’ the budget of the Goeldi Museum to be able to close both the 2015 and 2016 exercises;
- In 2017, we arrived with a table of expenses, mainly of security, cleaning and (maintenance of nurseries, gardeners, electricians, caretakers, etc.) to the maintenance of the Goeldi Museum in absolutely minimal condition;
- In the first eight months of 2017, the Goeldi Museum has used approximately R $5.6 million;
- The total fixed expenses of the Goeldi Museum (including third-party maintenance and cleaning, energy, telephone, consumables, etc.) to the last 4 months of the year 2017, are approximately R$ 3.7 million;
- Thus, the Museum is deficient in R$ 3.7 million to be able to honor its contracts without requiring further cuts.”
“Therefore, please publicize this note, and help raise the awareness of the government and to achieve success in the 2014 in 2018, so that we can continue to conduct our research, disclose knowledge of excellence, help decision-makers achieve good public policies to the Amazon, and to move the development of a state rich in biodiversity and biodiversity, inhabited by a happy and caring people.”