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    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.

    In growing slums around the world, access to clean water is a constant challenge. Through his organization Eau & Vie, Philippe de Roux uses access to clean water as an entry point to change negative perceptions around slums, and to eventually turn them into vibrant communities.

    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.

    François Marty is setting new standards and redefining what public housing should look like: Aesthetic, high quality, ecological houses. With municipalities, he is shifting the vision of public housing operators and demonstrating the economic viability of such houses. He is also creating and training an entirely new sector of social enterprises, employing those most marginalized in ecological construction.

    Wilson Passeto is empowering ordinary citizens to take steps to combat urban water scarcity, by providing them with a series of incentives and technical innovations to reduce their water consumption. He offers training and support to a growing cohort of “water agents,” who then help to change the habits and behavior of their friends and colleagues, fostering a major culture shift across Brazil.

    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.

    Tourism is a double-edged sword. On the one hand it brings people and business to economically starved regions, creating jobs and wealth. On the other, much of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of business owners and comes at the expense of severe environmental and cultural degradation.

    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.