International, Online

27 – 27 July, 2023

Aligning Research, Education and Business with the sustainability and biodiversity conservation and enhancements of natural areas with Suzana M. Padua

Given the dimension we face in addressing the challenges of environmental protection aligned with the socio-economic needs of local communities, new approaches of collaboration and leadership are needed. What can we learn from the experience of more than 30 years of IPE – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research) working in the field of research, education, engaging local communities and businesses in Brazilian communities with the shared vision of moving society practice towards sustainability? 

In this Masterclass we will learn from experiences in Brazil of: 

  • Partnerships among a nonprofit organization (IPÊ), businesses and governmental agencies that have developed programmes committed to biodiversity conservation, sustainability, and education on these fields, where the lessons learned have been critical to improve our performance. Examples of partnerships with the business world include Grupo Martins, Havaianas, Danone, Faber Castel, among others. 
  • Community involvement is critical for assuring the protection of natural areas in all Brazilian biomes where IPÊ conducts projects (Atlantic Forest, Amazonia, Pantanal and Cerrado). What is done, and how we do it to advance and learn what the next steps should be will be shared.   
  • Conservation of species or of protected areas, as well as the recovery of degraded areas through the planting of forests in corridors, buffer zones or “steppingstones” are complex and need to be approached with a systemic view, so that all spectrums can be integrated to the work that is done. Interdisciplinarity and science-based actions are fundamental for more effective results.  
  • Education on conservation and sustainability is crucial. A continental sized country like Brazil with its megadiverse nature needs high level professionals in many fields to conduct projects that can protect and develop sustainably. That is why IPÊ founded a school where if offers short courses, a master’s and a MBA, all guided by these principles and needs that have been identified over time.  

Challenges have been many, but they serve as learning processes to improve performance. Some will be shared as well as some successes that have served as stimulus to peruse the goals to be reached. Learnings from more than 30 years of experience can hopefully inspire others to be persistent in what they believe need to be done. 

Suzana Padua

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Suzana M. Padua is a Brazilian environmental educator with a doctoral degree from the University of Brasilia and a Master’s from the University of Florida. She is the president of IPÊ – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research), a Brazilian organization that works for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development. Her conservation education programs are broad, as they reach students, mid-career professionals and decision makers. She helped put together IPÊ’s education center, ESCAS, where short-term courses, Master’s and MBA are offered to professionals from Brazil and from other Latin American countries. She has published widely in many countries and has contributed to several governmental and non-governmental projects related to environmental education and sustainability.

Suzana is an Ashoka fellow, an AVINA leader, an IUCN in the Commission on Education and Communication, a Russell E. Train Scholar and a Bacardi Scholar. She has received several awards: Global Visionaris UBS (2018); Benchmarking Person (2017); Visionaris-UBS (2017); the Wildlife Conservation Award of the Cincinatti Zoo and Botanical Gardens (2017); the Margot Marsh Excellence in Primate Conservation of the International Primatological Society (2016); Schwab Foundation and Folha de São Paulo Social Entrepreneur (together with her husband, Claudio Padua, 2009); Ford Motor Company and Conservation International Environmental Award (2006); the Most Influential Women of Brazil – Forbes, Gazeta Mercantil and Jornal do Brasil (2005); Conde Nast Traveler Environmental Award (2003); Woman of the Year (Claudia magazine finalist of 2002), among others. Together with her husband Claudio Padua, they were both featured as “Heroes of the Planet” by Time magazine in 2002.