Luiz Tadeu Damaschi
Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Fellow Since 1992
This profile was prepared when Luiz Tadeu Damaschi was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1992.
The New Idea
With the slogan "Plant, Grow, and Raise Consciousness," Luiz Tadeo started the Sao Paulo Green Project in February 1992. The idea is to get Sao Paulo to restore some of the greenery it has lost over the last few decades. As Brazil's commercial and industrial center grew, mile upon dense mile of gray, harsh-lined concrete has covered the land, leaving only a few places with precious little greenery. To accomplish the regreening of Sao Paulo (and eventually other cities) on a large scale, Luiz Tadeo has established a multifaceted program to draw people in. It is educational, fun, and economical, and therefore should spread from neighborhood to neighborhood and then city to city. He grows the trees to be planted around the city in nurseries that also serve as training, recreation, and education centers both for those who participate in the plantings and for the general public. He encourages schools, community groups, and citizen organizations to take on the responsibility of planting wherever they live or work."Humanity has been shocked by the speed of environmental destruction occurring around the world," says Luiz Tadeo. He decided to take on and reverse that tide in his own city. Getting communities and schools involved in planting trees will not only beautify Sao Paulo but make a statement about overurbanization. He hopes his project will spark environmental debates and discussions in Sao Paulo and thereby plant seeds of environmental awareness in the minds of citizens.