General Coordination & Science Steering Committee
Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned economics professor, bestselling author, innovative educator, and global leader in sustainable development. Professor Sachs serves as Professor at Columbia University. He is Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and an SDG Advocate for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. From 2001-2018, Sachs served as Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General (Kofi Annan 2001-2007, Ban Ki-moon 2008-2016, and Antonio Guterres 2017-2018). Professor Sachs is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including debt crises, hyperinflations, the transition from central planning to market economies, the control of AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the escape from extreme poverty and the battle against human-induced climate change. He has received 28 honorary degrees and was twice named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders.
“More than ever we need to hear the voice of the scientists to enable us to understand how to save the Amazon from wanton and unthinking destruction.”
Emma Torres enjoys a long experience in the United Nations, with responsibilities involving management, strategic programme development, and negotiations to promote sustainable development initiatives globally and regionally. She coordinated the strategic initiative A Biodiversity SuperPower, which makes the case for biodiversity’s importance to the development, equity, and long- term competitiveness of the Latin America and Caribbean region. As UNDP coordinator for the Commission on Development and Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean she produced the Our Own Agenda and Amazonia without Myths reports. Both remain a point of reference in the field. Emma holds an MA in Economics from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain; a Diploma in Language and French Civilization from Sorbonne, Paris; and certificates in Environmental Economics and Climate Change, IIED, at Harvard University.
“Our Amazon is the heart of our region and the world and has the potential to be a biodiversity super power that generates sustainable and equitable development informed by our millennial cultures.”
Carlos Nobre is a Brazilian Earth System scientist with a PhD in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. Nobre’s work mostly focus on the Amazon and its impacts on the Earth system. He chaired the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA). He has also been a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was National Secretary for Research and Development Policies at the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation of Brazil and President of Brazil’s Agency for Post-Graduate Education (CAPES). He is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences, and The Royal Society.
“Saving the Amazon requires science-based targets for Nature. The SPA Report is urgently needed to show the risks and to promote solutions pathways for a sustainable future for the Amazon and its peoples.”
Marielos Peña-Claros is a Bolivian researcher with a Ph.D. in Ecology from Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Dr. Peña-Claros is Professor at the Forest Ecology and Forest Management group of Wageningen University, where she is working since 2010. Dr. Peña-Claros is specialized in forest ecology, focusing on forest management of tropical forests, with emphasis on ecological research that provides insight to define better management practices. Specifically, Dr. Peña-Claros is interested in looking at the recovery of forests after human disturbances and on silvicultural treatments that speed up the recovery process.
Elizabeth P. Anderson is a conservation ecologist at Florida International University (FIU) with two decades of experience in tropical ecology and conservation, focusing on freshwater systems. She received her A.B. from the Honors Program at the University of Georgia (1998), and her Ph.D. from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia (2004), now the Odum School of Ecology. Elizabeth had a productive international career before her appointment as Assistant Professor at FIU in 2017. She served as coordinator of multiple international research and study programs, as Conservation Sustainability Director at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, USA (2008-10), and worked with USAID-supported programs in South America, East Africa and India (2005-07; 2010-13). Between 2013-2016, she served as the Director of International Research Programs in the School of Environment, Arts and Society at FIU. She is a 3-time recipient of the Fulbright award.
“There is an urgent need to chart a collaborative vision for the Amazon’s future.”
Dolors Armenteras is a Colombian biologist with a PhD in geography from King’s College London, UK. Currently Dr. Armenteras is a Full Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia where she centers her research on dynamics and drivers of deforestation and fragmentation of Colombian forests, Andes and Amazon, among others. At her lab they focus on how growing human activities affect the old-growth forests and how to preserve and manage tropical landscapes. Dr. Armenteras’ research in ecology, spatial analysis and modelling at landscape scale for biodiversity conservation has helped advance understanding of ecological processes across multiple organizational levels. This experience encompasses both, fauna and flora, and includes ecosystem structure, modelling and landscape processes. Most recently, her focus on monitoring and forecasting has led her to integrate fire ecology by examining how to manage risk reduction in a context of climate change and how understanding fire can help reduce forest degradation and conserve biodiversity. She currently serves as Vice-president of International Association of Landscape Ecology, IALE.
“The fight of the 21st century in all the Amazon countries has to do with solving local governance, implementing public policies and managing to solve the social and economic conflicts that have to do with insecurity in land tenure.”
Mercedes Bustamante is a Brazilian scientist with a Ph.D. in Geobotany from the Universität Trier in Germany. She is a professor at University of Brasília in Brazil, and a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. She has coordinated chapters of the 5th Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and of the 1st Regional Assessment for the Americas of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). She was a member of the Scientific Committee for reviewing the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) nitrous oxide report, Latin America representative in the International Nitrogen Initiative, member of the Scientific Committee of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP) and of the Biosphere-Atmosphere Program in the Amazon (LBA). She was General Coordinator of Ecosystem Management and Director of Policies and Thematic Programs in the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and Director of Brazilian Programs and Scholarships in the Coordination of Personnel Development (CAPES).
“SPA will help to bring light not only to the most relevant scientific facts about the region but also to solutions that can help society to build new development pathways based on sustainability and social justice.”
Andrea C. Encalada is an Ecuadorian Professor at San Francisco de Quito University, Director of the Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, and Co-director of the BIOSFERA Research Institute. Dr. Encalada is also an adjunct Professor of the Geography Department of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Dr. Encalada holds a Ph.D. degree from Cornell University, USA, and worked as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. She is also a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Sciences and board member of Jocoto Conservation Foundation. Dr. Encalada’s research is focused mainly on the ecology of tropical rivers, and has a special interest in population, community and ecosystem responses of lotic ecosystems to climate change, and the development and application of bioindicators of pollution and other anthropogenic disturbances in tropical rivers. Currently she is part of the Andean-Amazon Free Flowing Rivers initiative and also a member of the Amazon Citizen Science group.
“Down from the Andes, the river flows and inundates the largest tropical forest in the world. Beautiful, complex, and diverse, the Amazon is fundamental for the functioning of the Biosphere. We should work with no dismay to recognize and protect it.”
Carlos Mena is an Ecuadorian Professor at the San Francisco de Quito University, Ecuador, and Founding Director of the Institute of Geography at the same University. Carlos is also the Founder and Co-Director of the Galapagos Science Center (GSC), Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, founding member of the Ecuadorian Association of Geographers and member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Mena´s research has covered topics of population and environment, remote sensing, geographic information science, complex adaptive systems, population geography, conservation, political ecology, citizen science, climate change and community development. Carlos has won several prestigious academic honors, including, the Earth Systems Science Fellowship from the US National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA), and has more than 80 publications, including a book published by Springer Science and Business Media.
Germán Poveda is a Colombian civil engineer with a Ph.D. in Water Resources from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and a post-doctorate in hydro-ecology from the University of Colorado, United States. Dr. Poveda is Professor at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and is an integral member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific global organization awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Dr. Poveda is a member of the Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, and of the Spain’s Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences. He has won four times the Fundación Alejandro Ángel Escobar Award, the most prestigious scientific award in Colombia, and was appointed by Colombia’s president as a member of the International Mission of Experts on Science, Education, Technology and Innovation.
“It is urgent to release the SPA report before the region crosses critical ecological thresholds that would make collapse the functioning of the Amazon.”
Fernando H. Roca Alcázar is a Peruvian Jesuit priest, doctor in Social Anthropology (Ethnobotanical) from EHESS, Paris, and Principal Professor at the Pontifical Catholic University (PUCP). He worked (1988-2000) in the Peruvian Amazon, in the Awajún-Wampis region of Alto Marañón, Condorcanqui and Imaza provinces in Amazonas. Full member of the National Academy of Sciences of Peru, member of the Geographic Society of Lima, and of the Board of Directors of the International Palm Society, Dr. Roca is currently the Academic Director of Church Relations at PUCP, where he teaches and also directs the Master’s Degree in Advanced Amazonian Studies. Dr. Roca is also an advisor to the Pan Amazon Network of the Church. He was a member of the preparatory committee of the Amazonian Synod and its adviser. He studies man-nature relationships, particularly the dialogue of traditional knowledge of native peoples with contemporary development proposals.
“The world needs to recognize the Amazonian bioma, a basic source for the planet thanks to his high biodiversity and the multicultural people that live there.”
Jon Paul Rodríguez
Jon Paul Rodriguez is a Venezuelan Professor at the Center for Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigations (Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas― IVIC), and he is a founder, past Board Member (1987-2001, 2009-2012) and President (2001-2008, 2013-present) of Provita (a Venezuelan conservation NGO established in 1987). Dr. Rodriguez was awarded with a Fulbright scholarship to obtain his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University (1999). He currently chairs the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, and was actively involved in the development of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, an initiative led by the Commission on Ecosystem Management. Dr. Rodriguez’s work focuses on understanding patterns in the spatial distribution of threatened species and ecosystems, as well as the underlying causes of these patterns, and the development of policy guidelines for biodiversity conservation.
Scott Saleska is an American Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, USA. He obtained his Ph.D. in Energy and Resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and his research focuses on how climate interacts with plant physiology, demography, and ecological processes to influence or control biogeochemical cycling from local to global scales. Dr. Saleska uses multidisciplinary approaches that combine classical techniques of field ecology and forestry with advanced technological methods and modeling to integrate biogeochemical processes to ecosystem scales. Two Dr. Saleska’s current projects include using new technologies to measure whole-ecosystem isotopic exchange and understanding Amazon forest carbon exchange. His work in the Amazon is designed to build upon ongoing investigations of how forest demography and disturbance dynamics control carbon cycling in old-growth Amazon forest.
Susan Trumbore is an American scientist who uses radiocarbon to trace the timescales associated with the flow of carbon through terrestrial ecosystems, including efforts to understand soil organic matter persistence and plant allocation. She maintains a long-standing interest in biosphere-atmosphere exchange of energy, water and trace gases and the role of disturbance in altering those interactions. Current large collaborative projects in the Amazon include the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) near Manaus and the Tanguro Flux Tower Project in Mato Grosso, Brazil. In addition to leading the Processes Department at the MPI for Biogeochemistry, Trumbore is Professor of Earth System Science at UC Irvine. She is editor-in-chief of the new open access journal AGU Advances.
“The Amazon is living outside the conditions it evolved under, with unknown consequences.”
Adalberto Val is a Brazilian senior researcher with a Ph.D. in Fresh Water Biology and Inland Fisheries from the Brazilian National Institute for Research of the Amazon (INPA) in Brazil. Since 1981, he is also a senior researcher with INPA, studying environmental adaptations of fish, including climate changes. He supervised more than 100 students, authored around 190 articles, book chapters and books, including “Fishes of the Amazon”, Springer (1995) and “The Physiology of Tropical Fishes”, Academic Press (2006). He has delivered more than 150 conferences worldwide and acted as General Director of INPA/MCTI for eight years (2006-2014). Dr. Val is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and awardee of the Grand Cross of the National Order of Scientific Merit (Brazil) and the Award of Excellence of the American Fisheries Society – Physiology Section (USA).
“The Amazon is a unique repository of planetary biodiversity. As a place of people, of life, of forest, of water, of the unknown, it is urgent to develop strategies to manage and preserve the biome”
Luciana Villa Nova
Luciana Villa Nova is a Brazilian Biochemistry Pharmacist specialized in Business Administration and Sustainability Management. She joined Natura in 1996 in a training program and throughout the years she has gained experience in various areas such as R&D, Scientific Area Networking Management, Technical Business Unit Management and Sustainability. She is now in charge of sustainability strategic planning at Natura, working on projects in sustainable use of biodiversity, including the management of social local initiatives for the Amazon rainforest and the Amazon Program. Luciana is also responsible for Natura’s strategy and guidelines for social inclusion and local development. She is currently studying for a masters degree at Fundação Getulio Vargas / São Paulo in Management for Competitiveness in Sustainability. She is passionate about natural products and biodiversity.
“The Amazon needs to be protected from deforestation, while restoring natural loss and proposing economic solutions combining biodiversity conservation and traditional knowledge from local populations.”