Picture of Leonardo Fleck

Leonardo Fleck

CSF-Brazil Board Chair, Program Officer, Conservation and Markets Initiatives, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, CA, USA

Leo is a Program Officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the largest private philanthropy working on environmental conservation globally. At Moore, Leo helped to create the foundation’s conservation and markets initiatives, a multi-year, multi-million dollar effort to help decouple food production from ecosystem degradation at scale, through the use of market-based approaches and more collaborative grant-making structures. Leo co-leads the initiative focused on eliminating deforestation and habitat loss from beef and soy supply chains in South America. He also supports the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), a global alliance of donors working to help reduce global greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, with strategy development and portfolio coordination.

Previously, Leo worked as CSF-Brazil's Country Program Manager and Senior Conservation Economist. An alumnus of CSF’s training program, Leo led international teams in innovative projects that led to measurable conservation impact, and taught CSF courses across the Americas. He also worked as a Consulting Professor at the UNA University Center in Brazil, teaching corporate sustainability to Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) students and was a contributor to the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity initiative (TEEB). He had extensive field experience in the Brazilian Amazon region, as a researcher for the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Institute.

Leo earned a Biological Sciences Degree and a diploma in Business Administration from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) in Brazil, a M.B.A. from the UNA University Center in Brazil, and a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent in the U.K., where he received the Maurice Swingland Prize.

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Marcelo Araújo

Professor, Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), Brazil

Marcelo holds a Licence's Degree in Agronomy from the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA - 1990) and a Master's Degree in Agricultural Engineering from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP - 1997) in Brazil, with a focus on ​​environmental planning. He was a Researcher at the Instituto de Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia (IESB, Institute for Socio-Environmental Studies of Southern Bahia), an environmental and technical-scientific non-governmental organization, where he worked in the areas of biodiversity conservation, environmental management, solidarity-based economy and sustainable rural development. He was a Visiting Professor at the Santa Cruz State University (UESC) and the Faculty of Technology and Sciences (FTC). From 2000 to 2006, he was Coordinator of the Management Committee of the Ecological Corridors Project, under the Pilot Program for the Conservation of Brazilian Tropical Forests (PPG7). From 2011 to 2015, he was Director of Environmental Research at the Environment Department of the State of Bahia (SEMA-BA), where he worked in the areas of project management and research promotion. Today, he is an Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia (UFRB), working in the areas of ​​planning, environmental management, political ecology and geotechnology.

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Maria José Gontijo

General Coordinator, International Institute for Education in Brazil (IEB), Brasília, Brazil

Maria José is the Founder and General Coordinator of the Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil (IEB, International Institute for Education in Brazil), one of the most prestigious NGOs dedicated to capacity building in Brazil. Before IEB, she worked in the private sector and in institutions such as the Fulbright Commission and SUNY-Brazil Advanced Developing Country Training Program.

Picture of Beto Mesquita

Beto Mesquita

Senior Consultant, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Beto Mesquita is a Forest Engineer with a PhD in Environmental and Forests Sciences by Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, and a Master's Degree in Biodiversity Conservation by CATIE (Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Education) in Costa Rica. He has been working for non-profit organizations for 24 years, leading projects on protected areas, forest restoration, landscape planning and multi stakeholders initiative. He has been a Researcher and Coordinator of Ecotourism and Protected Areas at Instituto de Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia (IESB, Institute for of Socio-Environmental Studies of Southern Bahia) and Coordinator, Program Director and finally, Executive Director at Instituto BioAtlântica (IBio, BioAtlantic Institute), and Director for the Atlantic Forest and Director of Landscape Strategy at Conservation International in Brazil.

His specialties are private land conservation - his Master’s and Doctoral's subjects -, forest restoration - as former general coordinator at Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact and one of the articulators of the Amazon Restoration Alliance -, ecological corridors, multi-stakeholder dialogues and initiatives. He is the author of dozens of publications and book excerpts on these topics.

He is a member of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) and the Brazilian Network of Ecological Restoration. Besides from CSF-Brazil's one, he is also on the boards of the National Confederation of Private Natural Heritage Reserves, ‘O Eco’ website, and Instituto Sul Mineiro de Estudos e Conservação da Natureza (ISMECN, Institute of Southern Minas Gerais of Studies and Nature Conservation).

Picture of Eric Stoner

Eric Stoner

Independent Environmental Consultant, Brasilia, Brazil

Eric Stoner holds Master of Science (MS - 1972) and Doctoral (PhD - 1979) Degrees in Soil Science (Remote Sensing) from Purdue University, with an Undergraduate Degree in Agronomy from The Pennsylvania State University (1970), in the USA. He grew up on a small poultry farm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and raised strawberries to pay his way through college.

After completing his MS Degree, Eric served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso state, Brazil (1972-74), taking part in early mapping of the Cerrado biome (Brazilian Savannah) with Landsat images, leading to a position with the Instituto de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE, Institute of Spatial Research - 1974-76).

Returning to Purdue, he worked at the Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing (LARS), leading to a position in digital satellite mapping of cropland with NASA's Earth Resources Laboratory at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi (1979-83).

In 1983, Eric returned to Brazil as On-site Coordinator of Cornell University's TropSoils (tropical soil) Management Research Program, based at Embrapa Cerrados (the Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency on Cerrado biome) in Planaltina, Distrito Federal.

Later, he served as Team Leader for the United States Agency for International Development Brazil (USAID-Brazil) Environment Program based at the U.S. Embassy in Brasília (1991-2011), expanding USAID's support for Brazilian NGOs seeking innovative socio-environmental solutions to deforestation in the Amazon. Currently, he works as an Independent Consultant on environmental matters.

Eric's hobbies include windowsill gardening and photography. Combining his interest in indigenous affairs and photography, this image was selected as one of the top 15 photos from Brazil on Flickr in 2017: