Topic : Conservation / protection
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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.
Wigold Schäffer is developing, demonstrating and testing a new model for the operation of small farms that reconciles the preservation of secondary forests and attendant biodiversity with farmers' desires for higher incomes and improved quality of life.
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.
Jose Antonio Bacchin, an environmentalist and specialist in community based economic development, is developing income generation projects for rural communities situated in state park forests. The program reconciles local community needs with protection of the environment. He calls his program Caminhancas (Pathways).
Guilherme Souza has reinvigorated the Brazilian people's relationship with their environment, introducing profitable methods to protect river-based biodiversity and increasing local income through ecotourism and sport fishing.
Tiberio Alloggio is turning community-based ecotourism–an ideal medium for the preservation of indigenous culture and the conservation natural resources–into an effective economic solution for the river populations of the Amazon region.