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    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.

    Oswaldo Setti de Almeida Filho, an engineer by training, is building communities in Brazil by strengthening community ties through shared space and overcoming concerns of adequate shelter.

    Luis Felipe Cesar is working to preserve mountainous regions in Brazil and elsewhere by fostering participatory management with the local community, creating sustainable economic opportunities and developing public policies both nationally and internationally to ensure the preservation of these important natural and cultural resources.

    Marilena Lazzarini, who helped create Sao Paulo's first government consumer agency, is now working to build a model private consumer defense group. Success in South America's biggest business center, enormously important in itself, will also encourage others across the continent to follow.

    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.

    Vera Gaensly Cordeiro is a pediatrician who could not stand to see terribly or terminally ill children obtain treatment in her hospital only to be released to such poverty that they could not recover or have hope of comfort.

    In the sertão "hinterlands" of northeastern Brazil, Francisco Alemberg de Souza Lima offers children dignified alternatives to exploitative labor by presenting opportunities in communications, media, and tourism. As a result, with their own creativity and enhanced education, the region's young people are leading their communities toward economic revitalization and cultural rebirth.

    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.

    Roberto “Beto” Chaves, a member of Rio de Janeiro’s police force, is rebuilding trust between Rio’s police and its favela communities. Through loosely structured “chats” in the community between police, ex-convicts and youth, Beto is breaking down the stereotypes and misconceptions that each group holds about the others, and has opened new lines of communication between the police and the community.