Worm collecting & the polychaete conference

Paulo da Cunha Lana lana at aica.cem.ufpr.br
Tue Apr 14 18:18:29 EST 1998

Dear colleagues,

Everybody has their own professional and personal feelings re
biodiversity and environmental policies. My own points of view are
absolutely irrelevant at this point, as far as it concerns the
organization of our polychaete conference.

Re this delicate topic, the facts are simple: 1) We have a number of
environmental regulations in Brazil, which are, by the way, a predictable
by-product of scientific concepts and misconcepts mostly generated by
well intentioned and influential scientists from developed countries; 2)
We live in a democratic country, full of imperfections but also full of
qualities, and if we wish we have the right and the adequate mechanisms to
question and eventually discard or modify those regulations; 3) In the
meantime, we have to comply with them, even we find them inadequate,
unfair or just silly. This is part of the social pact that every citizen
implicitly makes with all the other citizens, whenever they do agree to
live under a representative democratic system. I have spent most of my
youth and my formation years under a military dictatorship. I would not
say I have good memories from that period. As a consequence, democratic
values - personified by our law codes, which were voted under a democratic
climate - are very dear to my heart and I would be the very last person to
promote the breaking of them; 4) That's all.

The chance to have our polychaete fauna decently studied and to enhance
cooperation between southamerican polychaetologists and worldwide ones was
the main reason I suggested this country as the site for our next
conference. I am convinced that all of you will calmly collect all the
polychaetes you can or want during your Brazilian stay, handfuls of them,
and then calmly take them back to your labs and museums, where the poor
things will receive all the scientific attention they deserve and that my
own country and its scientists have been unable to provide for.

Thanks to all of you who have already sent the requested information
concerning collection permits. All the best,

Paulo Lana

<lana at aica.cem.ufpr.br>

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