February 2019: Environmental NGOs in the Crosshairs in Brazil (Berkeley)


Join us on Feb 6 from 6:30-9 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.

The topic is “Threats and risks for socioenvironmental agendas, indigenous peoples, and the conservation of the Brazilian Amazon under the Bolsonaro government.” Doors open at 6:30 with drinks, snacks, and networking, while the talk will begin around 7:15 pm, followed by discussion.

    Environmental and indigenous issues NGOs in Brazil have always been on the front lines of the struggle for the recognition of indigenous territorial rights and the protection of indigenous and other traditional people’s livelihoods, working in close partnership with the country’s indigenous movements. Many have also been instrumental in forest and biodiversity conservation efforts. Their history of struggle and success in achieving indigenous rights and environmental conservation have made these NGOs a target for the populist, extreme-right government recently elected in Brazil. In less than one month in power, a government responsive to the interests of the rural landowning interest group, historic enemies of indigenous peoples and forests, has already led to setbacks in indigenous rights, environmental protection and the defamation of NGOs. Although still unmeasured, consequences such as the invasion of tens of indigenous territories by loggers and miners in the Amazon are already taking place, resulting in human conflict and the elimination of core mechanisms for forest protection—environmental licensing and the demarcation of indigenous lands. The work done by NGOs and the fight carried out by indigenous movements are under attack by the principal decision-makers in the country. I will describe and discuss some of the policy changes wrought by the new government, and the consequences for territorial integrity, environmental protection and human rights, and the options open to NGOs and their indigenous partners to respond to this change in context.

    Andreia Bavaresco, Technical Coordinator, Brazil International Institute for Education (Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil). Andreia has an undergraduate degree in Forest Management and a Master’s in Sustainable Development form the University of Brasilia. Prior to and since joining IEB in 2010, she has supported or led environmental and governance projects with more than twenty indigenous peoples in Brazil. She specializes in the design and implementation of interdisciplinary, village-based training programs that enhance indigenous and traditional people’s capacity to manage their lands, resources, and livelihoods in the context of Brazilian public policy.

    ONGs ambientalistas na mira do Governo Bolsonaro: ameaças e riscos as agendas socioambientais, povos indígenas e preservação da Amazonia.

    A atuação das ONGs ambientalistas e indigenistas no Brasil em estreita parceria e dialogo com os movimentos indígenas sempre estiveram na linha de frente das lutas pela conquista pelo reconhecimento dos direitos territoriais e pela manutenção dos modos de vida dos povos indígenas e comunidades tradicionais brasileiras. Esse histórico de conquistas colocaram as ONGs como alvo do governo populista e de extrema direita que recentemente assumiu o poder no Brasil. Retrocessos nos direitos conquistados e difamação do trabalho das ONGs ja se fazem sentir em menos de um mês de atuação de um governo militarizado e que atende aos interesses dos inimigos históricos dos índios e das florestas, os ruralistas. Consequências, ainda não mensuradas, como a invasão de dezenas de terras indígenas por madeireiros e garimpeiros para exploração dos cobiçados recursos naturais da Amazonia ja são uma realidade com tendencias de surgimento de conflitos e a pulverização dos principais mecanismos de proteção da floresta, como o licenciamento ambiental e a demarcação de Terras Indígenas. O trabalho das ONGs e a luta dos movimentos indígenas estão sob ataque dos principais tomadores de decisão no pais.

    Andreia Bavaresco – Coordenadora Tecnica do Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil e Mestre em Desenvolvimento Sustentável pela Universidade de Brasilia

Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) courtesy of the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

February 6 from 6:30-9 pm

Goldman School of Public Policy: Living room
University of California
2607 Hearst Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320

Please RSVP so we know how much food and drink to buy

May 2017: Amazon indigenous leaders discuss culture & the environment (Stanford)

Join us on May 24 from 6-8:30 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University.

    Six indigenous leaders from the Tiriyo, Xavante, Makushi, Shuar and Kaxinawa Peoples of the Amazon region of Brazil, Guyana and Ecuador will discuss how environmental concerns, biodiversity conservation, climate change concerns and natural resource use intersect with indigenous culture, spirituality, development, politics and land rights. Also participating in the discussion will be Dr. Robert Miller, a Brazilian representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP-GEF) and a consultant and the technical Coordinator of the GATI (Indigenous Environmental and Territorial Management) Project in Brazil. This presentation for BATFN forms part of a larger Amazonian Indigenous People and Native American Summit being held at Stanford University from April 24-26. Presentations at the summit are open to all. Meetings are fostered between Native Americans and the Amazonian indigenous leaders as a means of seeking solutions to common issues. Locations and schedule for the summit will soon be posted.


Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) courtesy of the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network.

May 24 from 6-8:30 pm

Department of Global Ecology Conference Room
Carnegie Institution
Stanford University
260 Panama St
Stanford, CA 94305

Please RSVP so we know how much food and drink to buy

June 2017: Saving Brazil’s cerrado (Berkeley)


Join us on June 6 from 6-8:30 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley.

The event will focus on Brazil’s cerrado, a tropical woodland ecosystem that is fast being destroyed for industrial ranches and farms. Dr. Arnaldo Carneiro, a researcher at National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA), will present his findings on how companies can expand responsibly, while the Union of Concerned Scientists will provide an overview of the current political battle going over the future of the Brazilian Cerrado, which is home to 5 percent of the world’s remaining biodiversity.

    Over the past decade, vast areas of Brazil’s Cerrado have been converted from diverse native ecosystems into soy monocultures to feed the world’s growing demand. Today, deforestation rates are still higher in the Cerrado, particularly in Matopiba, where most recent agricultural expansion has occurred at the expense of native vegetation. It doesn’t have to be this way. Researchers and experts have mapped opportunities for agricultural expansion on degraded lands and existing pasture. Advocacy groups press for soy traders to adopt a monitoring system for deforestation and smart infrastructure design to focus new expansion on existing pasture fields avoiding new deforestation.

Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) courtesy of the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

June 6 from 6-8:30 pm

Goldman School of Public Policy: Living room
University of California
2607 Hearst Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94720-7320

Please RSVP so we know how much food and drink to buy

Nov 2016 BATFN: Building an inclusive low-carbon economy in Acre, Brazil (Berkeley)


Join us on October 26 from 7-8:30 pm for an event co-hosted by the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN), Earth Innovation Institute, Forest Trends, and the UC Berkeley Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory and featuring Tião Viana, the governor of Brazil’s state of Acre.

Acre, Brazil has one of the most advanced state-wide systems for promoting sustainable development in the tropics. During the last year, when deforestation rates across the Brazilian Amazon increased 24%, Acre’s deforestation declined, falling to 44% of its ten-year average. Acre is leading the way on forest conservation while simultaneously driving economic growth and ensuring inclusion for its people. This event features the premier of The Story of SISA—a short film examining the powerful partnership between the state of Acre and the indigenous and traditional peoples working to keep its forests standing while improving livelihoods.


6:45 Doors open
7:00 Welcome by Rhett Butler, Mongabay and the Bay Area Tropical Forests Network
7:05 Introduction to the Low Carbon Economy by Dan Kammen, UC Berkeley, Founding Director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory
7:10 Introduction to Acre’s Grand Experiment by Daniel Nepstad, Executive Director, Earth Innovation Institute
7:15 Address by Tião Viana, Governor of Acre, Brazil
7:30 The Story of SISA
7:45 Panel discussion with representatives of Acre’s indigenous and business communities followed by audience questions
8:30 Closing Remarks by Rhett Butler

Please note, the structure of this event is more formal that the typical BATFN. The program will start promptly at 7 pm, so we recommend you arrive a few minutes early.

Admission is free and open to all.

WHEN: October 26, 2016 from 6:45 PM to 8:45 PM (PDT)

WHERE: Brower Center Goldman Theater. 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94705



Oct 2016 BATFN – The struggle for indigenous rights within Brazil’s political turmoil (Stanford)


Join us on Thursday, October 6 from 6-9 pm for a Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) event held at the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University.

As Brazil weathers severe political and economic unrest in the wake of President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, the country’s indigenous peoples are at the forefront of social movements demanding social and environmental justice.

Citing today’s alarming assault on native rights enshrined in Brazil’s 1988 Constitution by a powerful political bloc known as the ruralistas, national indigenous leader Sônia Guajarara will discuss the struggle to defend these rights and the country’s rich ecological heritage through the lens of Brazil’s indigenous mobilization.

    Sônia hails from the Amazonian forests of the Araribóia indigenous territory in Brazil’s Maranhão State. Her life reflects the struggle of Brazil’s native peoples for recognition of their rights and ancestral lands. Prior to becoming the national coordinator of Brazil’s Association of Indigenous Peoples (APIB), Sônia served as vice-coordinator of the Brazilian Amazon’s indigenous network COIAB for four years, gleaning a broad understanding of movement building as well as the diverse threats confronting the country’s native population. She is today one the most expressive leaders of Brazil’s indigenous movement, transmitting the cry of recognition of Brazil’s first nations everywhere she goes

Exploring the ramifications of Dilma’s removal and the installation of President Michel Temer, Maria Luiza Mendonça of Brazil’s Network for Social Justice and Human Rights will contextualize this polemic rightward shift in socio-environmental terms.

    Maria Luisa Mendonça is a professor at the International Relations Department of University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and director of Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos (Network for Social Justice and Human Rights – www.social.org.br) in Brazil. She has a PhD in Philosophy and Social Sciences with a focus on Human Geography from the University of Sao Paulo (USP). In 2013 she was a visiting scholar in the Development Sociology Department at Cornell University. Her work focuses on agricultural systems, political economy, international studies, and geopolitical land and natural resource conflicts. She is the editor of the book “Human Rights in Brazil,” which has been published annually by Rede Social since 2000, and she was one of the founders of the World Social Forum.

Admission is free and open to all, with refreshments (including wine and beer) courtesy of Mongabay / the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network.

    Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology conference room
    Stanford University
    260 Panama St,
    Stanford, CA 94305

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July 2014 BATFN: Saving the Amazon (San Francisco)

What’s Behind Brazil’s Big Drop in Amazon Deforestation?


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The July 2014 BATFN will take place from 6pm-8:30pm Jul 31 at a.Muse gallery (614 Alabama St, San Francisco, CA 94110). The event is hosted by Earth Innovation Institute and is free and open to the public.

We’re pleased to announce that Dan Nesptad, Senior Scientist & Executive Director at the Earth Innovation Institute, will present the results of his team’s recent Science paper, Slowing Amazon deforestation through public policy and interventions in beef and soy supply chains (Mongabay coverage).

      Description: Since 2005, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has declined 70% below the historic ten-year annual average, keeping 3.2 billion tons of CO₂ out of the atmosphere and avoiding 86,000 km² of forest clearing. As a result Brazil is the global leader in climate change mitigation. The achievement is made more remarkable by the fact that soy and beef production—the main drivers of deforestation—continued to grow.

Daniel Nepstad, senior scientist and founder of Earth Innovation Institute, will present the results of a recent Science article that reviews the mixture of policies, supply chain interventions, and market conditions that led to this tremendous decline in deforestation. The authors conclude that the decline in Amazon deforestation remains fragile as the interventions that contributed to the initial decline are operating in isolation and delivering few positive incentives to the communities and farmers whose land-use decisions drive deforestation. Daniel Nepstad will discuss how these lessons drive Earth Innovation’s strategy to align policy, supply chain initiatives, and finance to secure reductions in deforestation while stimulating investment for low-emission rural development.

If you plan to join us, please RSVP via this form or the Facebook event page.

We hope to see you there!