Topic : Environment & Sustainability
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Patricia Bustamante's environmental education program for rural Brazil brings the elderly and children together to catalogue plants, rediscover their traditional uses and create community-based nurseries and seed banks.
Working in Nazaré Paulista, a relatively impoverished conservation area that borders on the Atlantic Forest and is a major source of water for the city of São Paulo, Suzana Padua has developed a new model for community engagement in environmental protection.
Terri Valle de Aquino grew up in Acre, the very poor and thinly populated state on the southwestern edge of Brazil's Amazon basin. He returned to work with the indigenous peoples there and is now setting out to help them and their traditional enemies, the rubber tappers, learn to collaborate and work together economically and politically. This collaboration is as important to the rainforest as it is to both peoples.
Rubens is building powerful networks and coalitions of civil society organizations addressing major issues of environmental protection and sustainable development in Brazil. His work is helping those organizations gain greater voice in national and international deliberations and enabling them to play more productive roles in translating international environmental accords and environment-friendly national policies into effective action at the regional and local levels.
Silvia is working to balance social development and community-building with environmental conservation, focusing on sustainability over the long term. Working from this vision, she is the first Brazilian to address biological imbalances caused by foreign plant species. Unlike the United States and Australia, which carefully control nonnative vegetation, Brazil has neither public policies nor legal limitations on the growth of species that degrade the quality of soil and crops.
Wagner Gomes has created a development initiative that unites students from rural backgrounds with impoverished farmers in the Northeast of Brazil to collaborate with one another and increase their productivity.
René Schärer makes it possible for local fishing communities to manage the use of their coastal waters, helping citizens and the government defuse environmental and economic threats posed by large, negligent, and unwelcome fishing vessels.
Kai Gildhorn has developed a solution to the considerable amount of underutilized and free public fruit resources in Germany, and put them towards development in rural areas.
Rubens Gomes is working to slow the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon while teaching rural and urban community members how to use the resources in a mutually beneficial and sustainable way. Rubens's program develops lines of alternative certified wood products–from musical instruments to furniture–while maximizing the natural and human resources of the Amazon.