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    Ronaldo Lima de Oliveira is working both to prevent the destruction of the rain forest and to guarantee the survival of forest communities by creating a model for sustainable agro-economical activities in Brazil's recently-created "extractive reserves." The strategies that he is developing will allow people living in the reserves to meet their food needs and to produce a surplus to be sold in the market, thus enabling them to buy other goods necessary for their family's survi

    Wigold Schäffer is developing, demonstrating and testing a new model for the operation of small farms that reconciles the preservation of secondary forests and attendant biodiversity with farmers' desires for higher incomes and improved quality of life.

    By introducing an impressive array of environmentally-friendly economic development projects to the Amazon’s most deforested region, Vitória da Riva Carvalho is proving that conservation does not have to come at the expense of economic growth. She is creating entirely new value chains around low-impact tourism, while protecting the forest and incentivizing cutting-edge environmental research and education.

    Merlong is helping small farmers in the state of Piaui overcome historically defeatist attitudes to become more productive. Through CERMO, a non-profit educational and consulting organization he co-founded, he hopes to help the region's small farmers become more productive and combine to achieve greater market power.

    In response to the increasing industrialization of dairy farming in France, Fabrice is developing an entrepreneurial-driven small-scale farming alternative that reinvents the role of farmers keeps them in the agricultural and economic landscape. Through new modes of production and distribution that respect the environment and offer healthy milk, he positions dairy producers as wellness partners and reconnects them with consumers.

    Guilhem Chéron is creating a viable alternative to France’s industrial agricultural production system by using peer-to-peer marketing to fundamentally transform the economics of artisanal, environmentally sustainable food production. By reducing overhead costs and inefficiencies, Guihem is more than doubling the income suppliers receive for their products, first for suppliers in France and ultimately, across Western Europe.

    In response to increasing agricultural industrialization throughout France, Jérôme Deconinck has created the first agricultural land trust to mobilize the French population to preserve their agricultural heritage, and to promote the development of a more unified small-scale organic farming culture. He is demonstrating that another form of rural development—one that preserves landscapes, ensures custody of the environment, and maintains economic and social activities—is possible.

    Pierre Rabhi has used principles of agroecology to improve yields and living conditions across the French and West-African agricultural sectors. Through innovative training methods, he has helped over 150,000 farmers diagnose the best way to adapt and apply ecological practices to their land and cultures, effectively uniting thousands of citizens in a movement to restore and protect environmental and social ecosystems.

    Since the 1980s, Jean-Guy Henckel has worked to help the most excluded out of long-term unemployment. His innovative model trains them to produce high-value, organic agricultural products and organizes them into local “Cocagne Gardens,” organizations that market their packaged products to conscientious consumers, who in turn commit to buying their products every week. Beginning locally, Jean-Guy has expanded his approach to over 100 locations across France.

    Nicolas Metro is redefining forest preservation as a human development issue, one that reaches far beyond environmental conservation. By positioning trees as central actors in creating economic opportunities and addressing social issues, Nicolas develops simple ways for companies and local communities to find common ground where entrepreneurial solutions are encouraged to flourish.