Forest Hero: UN awards Amazon Campaign Director

by Guest Blogger

February 9, 2012

by Jess Miller

Paulo Adario

Paulo Adario, who heads up ourAmazon campaign, may not be your archetypal hero (weve never seen him don tights), but were proud to announce that he has just been awarded the honour of Forest Hero by the UN. Hes not one to tout his own accomplishments, so were going to tell you more about Paulos work, as he receives his award today at the United Nations ceremony for the Year of the Forests in New York.

Paulo Adarios career ofAmazon protectionis an inspiration to all of us and proof of what can happen when one person decides to take action.

His story in the Amazon began with his decision to move, in the mid-1990s, from Rio de Janeiro to Manaus the capital of Amazonas state. It was here he built, from scratch, the Greenpeace campaign to defend the Amazon Rainforest.

Leading a field team focused on research and investigation, Adarios work exposed the timber industry as the first in a number of drivers of destruction in the Amazon rainforest.

In 2001, he led a skilled field team into the Amazon toassist the Deni tribeto demarcate and protect their own land, resulting in the official protection of 1,6 million hectares of pristine forest. Adario also introduced new concepts, such as the Green Wall to describe the network of protected areas necessary to stop the northern encroachment of industrial development, and Zero Deforestation a set of political, social and economic initiatives aimed at eliminating deforestation while ensuring the improvement of living conditions for people living in and from the forests.

Following a campaign on illegal logging, which led to a moratorium in 2003 on the international trade in Mahogany, the impacts of Paulos work attracted death threats from forest criminals across the Amazon.

Despite this, he persisted and went on to create bilateral agreements with international and industrial companies to halt the illegal destruction of the forests for soya crops and cattle ranching. The resultingSoya Moratoriumandcattle industryagreements are still in place today.

Paulo has pioneered a campaign to protect the Amazon – from boardroom meetings with industry leaders to field expeditions deep into the Amazon, to the co-ordination of international public campaigns to expose forest destroyers and demand sustainable solutions.

These photos tell just a small part of Paulo Adarios story in the Amazon and an important part of our story in Brazil over the last 20 years. Join the party- leave your congratulations in the comments section and I will make sure Paulo sees them all.

Join Paulo in taking action for the Amazon Tell Dilma to veto the new Forest Code!

The United Nations will honor Greenpeace Brazils Amazon Campaign Director Paulo Adario as a Forest Hero at a ceremony in New York on February 9th, in celebration of his work in defense of the Amazon Rainforest.

Jess Miller is a communications coordinator for the Amazon campaign.

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