Bruno Monteferri
Ashoka Fellow since 2016   |   Peru

Bruno Monteferri

Individual Bruno Monteferri
Bruno created a platform/network that enables the environmental citizenship and speeds conservation through collective action. Bruno goes beyond the traditional scheme of protection of the green…
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This description of Bruno Monteferri's work was prepared when Bruno Monteferri was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.


Bruno created a platform/network that enables the environmental citizenship and speeds conservation through collective action. Bruno goes beyond the traditional scheme of protection of the green areas, and promotes a citizens' movement for its conservation. From a positive approach he develops a "culture of affection and empathy" in which people develop actions driven by love and not fear. In addition, he shows experiences of positive actions that connects people and promotes conservation through the change of mind of a conscious citizenship to become environmental agents of change.

The New Idea

Bruno promotes projects focused on nature conservation and organizes campaigns and collective actions, like expeditions to wild places or conservation areas, for citizens to leave a positive mark and improve the situation of the natural sites visited. Bruno creates a movement of affection and empathy for nature, which differs from most environmental organizations with a technical and alarmist narrative, with slightlycomprehensible information that conveys fear and pessimism, and therefore produces avoidance or ignorancein people.
Bruno has protected more than 2.5 million acres in Peru, because he promoted a replicable organizational model for the voluntary private conservation. He has equipped communities and private institutions with legal and organizational tools so they are the protagonists in the defense and creation of conservation spaces. He managed that a framework of legal action became a public policy that encourages legal and financial support to citizens and institutions to dedicate their land to conservation.
"ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)" it is not a casual phrase. For Bruno the internal nature of the human being relates to biophilia, meaning, the recovery of the bond that man has with nature and the preservation of ourselves as part of life. "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)" promotes a positive vision of sustainability, as a collective challenge that can include any person, organization and enterprise. It focuses on stories that show that it is possible to create a net positive impact with our lives and projects. Finally, it focuses on citizen-led collective actions as a medium/experience to transform people into Changemakers.

The Problem

Peru is the fourth most dangerous country to promote conservationism, behind Brazil, Honduras and the Philippines, -at least 85 activists, against the illegal logging in Peru, were killed between 2002 and 2016-. And at the same time it is the fifth most biodiverse country on the planet, but the health of its ecosystems is decreasing at an alarming rate due to various causes associated with human behavior: Deforestation, wildlife trafficking, pollution of the main sources of water, loss of soil fertility, increased demand in urban centers, leading to an excessive increase in production and deforestation.
All this leads to poor management of territories. Around 60% of the land in Peru is managed by citizens and more than 20 million acres are owned by communities and indigenous peoples. The main cause of deforestation in Peru is migratory agriculture-which advances at a rate of 150 thousand acres per year-. Agricultural policies in Peru continue encouraging slashing and burning of forestsas a condition for obtaining ownership of the land. In Peru, 47% of greenhouse gasemissions are associated with the alteration of forests and the changing of use of the land.
In Peru, still, doesn’t exist an environmentally active population or a culture of sustainability, widespread in all strata of society. Added to this there isa population that receives Conservation Programs based on guilt and not in life and positive actions.The problem with the previous approach, is that it does not create a social movement based on voluntary conservation and the stories of people show that it is possible to become aChangemaker. Hence, ordinary people did not feel that they directly could be nature conservation Changemakers. The field of conservation remains a challenge for specialists because the stories of the people were not the ones being highlighted. Secondly, supporting specific conservation areas is important, but the pressure of the natural resources that are being protected in conservation areas will remain unless the "paradigms of the west" and the demand for products from urban cities change.

The Strategy

Bruno is aware of the absence of an environmental culture in Peru and from a very young age was connected with this situation and decided to focus on the rescue of the biodiversity of Peru. He studied environmental law and since 2004 Bruno was linked with the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA). Then in 2012 he created the program "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)", with the supportof the SPDA, because he realized that legal work was not enough, but it was also necessary to change the mentality of the citizens. Thus, he inspired and guided citizens and businesses to have a positive and proactive leadership in favor of conservation of the natural wealth of Peru. Bruno is currently in the stage of formalizing "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)"as a social enterprise. His staff consists of 8 members: Director, Project Coordinator, Social NetworksCoordinator, Communications Coordinator, Campaign and Volunteers Coordinator, Designer, Video Editor and Bio-Commerce Coordinator.
Bruno gathers in a collaborative digital platform more than 23 thousand active people. Through Storytelling videos,he shows people that inspire and motivate others to take positive conservation action through volunteering and generating entrepreneurships with a focus on conservation and sustainable management. Such is the case of SHIWI, a collaborative ally initiative, which has a sustainable social model for empowerment of women who grow chestnuts in protected areas. Likewise, Bruno visits communities and promotes conservation civil agreements replicable by land holders/owners. He has already supported more than 175 initiatives in the good handling of properties, intended for the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem health of 2.5 million acres. This led him to create the KuyapanakuyCollective Civil Association, an organizational model that provides, for replication, which brings together individuals that with admission fees purchase acres of wild forest. To this day daythey have purchased 29 acres.
In each profile of the conservation areas that Bruno supports, there is a box that explains what they need (Ayúdanos a Conservar (Help us Preserve)) so that after reading their story people can take action, also publish specific posts looking for talent and donations,for example, the remodeling of an eco-lodge run by a grassroots initiative, through the ‘Colabora (collaborate)’ section of his website. The social networks,Instagram, Facebookand to a lesser extent Twitter are used to look for volunteers and connect them with call to actions. The events also include information on how to preserve and how to collaborate with conservation areas. The annual magazine and monthly newsletter include a section to promote collaboration, and crowd-funding campaigns such as ‘IndieGogo’. There are examples with more than 20 companies that have donated resources to conservation areas.In the case of facilitating conservation initiatives, he uses the same tools. This year Bruno and his team will include new content into the ‘Conserva (Preserve)’ sections. Videos will be produced to explain the different ways how people can engage in private conservation initiatives.
Bruno through campaigns, events and national collective actions of awareness about plastic pollution and cleaning of beaches has activated more than 7,000 people and promoted empathy, teamwork and collective leadership. Through the “Hazlaportu Ola (Do it for your Wave)” initiative he seeks leaders to raise funds to protect the crashing of the waves. In addition, he has the “ReforestamosporNaturaleza(Reforestation for Nature)” program, which,with collective action has planted more than 2,000 native trees. "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)"has periodic events like the KuyapanakuyFestival, Natural Perulecturesand Bruno launched the"RutasConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by NatureRoutes)" where through high quality videos stories about conservation areas of Peru are shown. In 2013, more than 10,000 people gathered simultaneously in 68 places of Peru and a major event in Mexico, to launch the video of the ‘Route of the Mist’.
There are people such as Antonio Fernandini that are giving their life to the protection of the harpy eagle. Harpy eagles nest on ‘Shihuahuacos’, an amazing tree found in the Amazon. The success of Antonio is directly related to the demand from China and Lima, for ‘shihuahuaco’ timber for luxury departments in the cities. If that demand continues to rise, it will be very difficult for Antonio to protect the ecosystem and habitat for the harpy eagle. That connection between sustainable lifestyles and grassroots conservation efforts was lacking before "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)" was conceptualized. Also, SPDA did not work on the promotion of a social movement where every person can play an important role as a Changemaker. Another story that reflects the positive focus and empathy of "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)":they base their actions on the value of empathy. The way Bruno tells stories are based on empathy and facilitating a call to action. For instance, Bruno produced and disseminated avideo for example, one of them is about a mother and a son that work together trying to make of conservation their life project. More than conservation, the story focuses on the relationship between them and the purpose of life, the meaning of having an enriching life. Perico says, at the end of the video, that he feels as a millionaire because he meets incredible people and has every day more ideas and projects to fulfill the type of life that he has chosen.
Bruno has empowered and provided technical, legal and financial support to more than 40 voluntary conservation organizations in Peru, he has supported 250,000 people directly and around 2 million people indirectly. He managed the creation of a legal and institutional framework that impacted the Government Officials responsible for the design and implementation of public policies to provide greater incentives.
As part of his sustainability strategy he has allies and foundations that granthim donations. Collective actions are financed via crowdfunding and has additional sponsorships from partner companies and/or cooperation funds. All campaigns and programs have been designed thinking that they be permeable, replicable at any scaleand without requiring great funding. Among his allies there are social organizations such as,‘UnTechopara mi País (A Roof for my Country)’, ‘Voluntades (Wills)’, Ruwasunchis, Teach First, ‘Reforestamos Patagonia (We Reforest Patagonia)’and Life Out of Plastic. He also has the support of the public sector, which provide the legal framework and the possibility of legal action, like the Ministry of Environment, National Service of Protected Natural Areas, Wild Fauna and Flora Service and Regional Governments with "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)"decentralized offices (in Loreto, Amazonas and Madre de Dios). Likewise, private companies like Patagonia and Scotiabank have supported with funds for campaigns.
Bruno has user guidesof the "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)"brand for replication. This has allowed him to take his model to Chile in 2015 and has co-created with Peruvians Ashoka Fellows like Ana Zuchetti in the PachamacValley project and JoaquínLeguía, founder of Ania. He has a monitoring methodology that measures each year the level of sustainable living, meaning,the positive print of each of his volunteer allies. Through an online survey people undertake commitments that each year evaluate whether or not they were met their commitment to determine changes in habits. 2016 Bruno expectsto develop a mobile app with gamification strategies for tracking change actions.
As a strategic goal for 2020 he will strengthen an active community of 1 million Agents of Change that will speedthe sustainable development in the Latin America region with collective and daily actions -all this within the framework of the "Pact for Life" initiative which Bruno leads in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-. These people would not be just followers, but with concrete actions,will leave positive footprints and with monitoring indicators will demonstrate a real change of habit. He expects to create at least 20 offices for "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)"in Latin America that will operate on a network, and at least 60 projects and articulated initiatives.He will affect policies and incentives to promote voluntary conservation and will position conservation areas product brands. For that year, he expects to reach 200 thousand additionalacres of voluntary conservation in strategic areas of Peru.

The Person

Bruno comes from a very close, honest and hardworking family. Since he was 8 years old, every Sunday,he would go with his family to help at the restaurant "El Gato" in Lima, a family business built from scratch. He was always an honors student and up to the age of 16 he played tennis with such talent that he represented Peru in several South American tournaments and was on his way to obtaining a scholarship to study in the United States. However, at a very young age Bruno showed his passion for the environment and collective actions and felt the need to better understand his roots. The renowned photographer and Peruvian alpinist Renzo Uccelli, who unfortunately died in a plane crash, was one of his main sources of inspiration. Uccelli’s photos led Bruno to travel all around Peru -it’s worth noting that Bruno is the first generation afterPeru’sterrorism era that hit the country with a wave of violence-.
Bruno is an environmental lawyer and from 2005 to 2010 he worked at the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law (SPDA). Bruno participated in the creation of new protected areas for Peru, as are the cases of Sierra del Divisor National Park in the Peruvian Amazon; the Sistema de Islas National Reserve, Islotes andPuntasGuanerasand the San Fernando National Reserve. In addition, he avoided the cut of the BahuajaSonene National Park and strengthened the capacities of government officials at regional governments, such as Loreto, for the creation of the first Regional Conservation Program in Peru. He supported the chiefs of protected natural areas, judges, district attorneys and rangers in legal issues aimed at increasing the enforcement and compliance of environmental standards in Peru. Likewise, he was the founder of the website on protected natural areas legislation. All this experience and training took Bruno to impact the legal and institutional framework of Peru.
In 2011, he received a scholarship to study a Masters in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge. There he also learned motivational and happiness topics and how to generate changes in the behavior of people, through multiplayers games and networks. He took all theselearningsand extrapolated on conservation issues. That same year Bruno organized at his university the first seminar on the possible implications of digital games for the conservation of biodiversity and also created the website with social games with collective goals to promote conservation. On his trip to England he explored the issue of transitional communities led by Ashoka Fellow, Rob Hopkins, and was the transcendental moment when Bruno conceived the idea of creating "ConservamosporNaturaleza (We Preserve by Nature)", on his return to Peru.
Bruno is Global Shaper Peru; in 2011 he won the Carlos Ponce del Prado Award for Young Professionals, the most important recognition for Nature Conservation in Peru; and in 2013 he won the Green Talents Award from the Ministry of Education and Research of Germany. He has published 5 books on environmental law and protected areas, and is member of the Board of the KuyapanakuyCollective Association, the Agro-ecological TIKARI Development Association and the ANIA Organization of Ashoka Fellow,JoaquínLeguia. Bruno is an active member of the Global Conservation Organization IUCN and dreams of changing people’s life pattern through a young people Global Movement with a positive outlook and aware of the footprint they leave in nature.

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