By Clara Machado
After being awarded at the Rolex Awards for Enterprise in 2019, the general director of Instituto Juruá, João Vitor Campos-Silva, was recognized as an environmental hero to inspire us in 2021. The list by CNN International – “Environmental heroes to inspire you in 2021 ”- mentions people from different parts of the world with initiatives related to the environment to keep us optimistic for the coming year.
In this inspiring list, João is accompanied by the Argentine Pablo Borboroglu who works on penguin conservation, Valerie Akuredusenge with her work in Rwanda on mountain gorilla conservation and environmental education in schools, and the sailor Emily Penn who brought together an all-female crew to sail around the world to highlight the damage caused by plastic pollution in the oceans. The list also included a group of students who promoted a virtual COP 26 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change) to debate climate change in the midst of a pandemic, since the official event could not take place in 2020, among other incredible stories, told over the past year in the Call to Earth project.
João’s tireless work to align biodiversity conservation and human well-being is bearing fruit along the Juruá River, particularly in his scientific efforts to strengthen the participatory management of pirarucu fisheries in the region. Recognition is a rewarding part of this process and disseminating the results of our conservation work in the mid-Juruá can inspire new initiatives worldwide. João, our beloved JB, is one of the links in a huge chain of interested, engaged and optimistic people who have united in the mid-Juruá region to make dreams come true, and who work collectively believing that a sustainable future for the Amazon will only be possible if conservation ensures the quality of life for local communities.