Podcast and Video

TEDx Presentations

Fixing the Amazon Forest Market Failure
by Daniel Nepstad of the Earth Innovation Institute

Your Money and the Amazon Forest
by Leonardo Letelier of SITAWI Finance for Good

Investing in Sustainable Amazon Forest Entrepreneurship
by Luis Fernando Laranja of Kaete Investments

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Science and the Amazon Forest Bio-Economy
by Maritta Koch-Weser of the Amazion Third Way Initiative

The Economy of Deforestation Resistance: Scaling Up Community Led Enterprises in the Amazon
by Marina Campos of Conexsus / Sustainable Connections Institute

Amazon Forest Rule of Law: Landgrabbing, Deforestation and Amnesties in Brazil
by Brenda Brito of Imazon (Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon)

Green Bonds, Sustainability and New Amazon Forest Financial Products
by Justine Leigh-Bell of the Climate Bonds Initiative

Venezuela’s Illegal Mining, Human Suffering & Environmental Disaster in the Amazon Forest
by Cristina Vollmer Burelli of SOS Orinoco

Humans and Nature: Are We Part of the Ecosystem? Roles for Entertainment and Technology
by Cacau Araujo of the Alana Institute

My Rainforest Journey: Revolutionizing Conservation with 21st Century Innovations
by Peter Houlihan of XPRIZE Rainforest


A Corporation Scaling the Amazon Forest Bio-Economy and Teaching Others the Same
by Daniel Sabara of Beraca S.A.

Impact Investing Approaches in the Amazon Rainforest and Crowd Lending
by Leonardo Letelier of SITAWI Finance for Good

Amazon Forest Economy Market Failures and Opportunities
by Daniel Nepstad of the Earth Innovation Institute

Alternative Governance and Economic Models for the Amazon Region
by Atossa Soltani, Juan Manuel Crespo, Belem Paez of the Sacred Headwaters Initiative and Jonah Sachs of the One Project

Previously Recorded Podcast Episodes – Coming Soon…

An Inter-Governmental Reforestation Alliance for Latin America
Walter Vergara: In 2014, in Lima, Peru, at COP 20, the Conference of Parties of the 20th United Nations Climate Change Conference, 17 Latin American countries joined forces and created Initiative 20×20 to advance ecosystem restoration and conservation. Today, over 70 technical partners and impact investors have pledged to invest $2.5 billion across the region. Join the 20×20 secretariat, led by Walter Vergara, to learn their story and their strategies and what it means for the Amazon.

COVID-19 and the Indigenous Amazon
Natalie Unterstell: As former head of climate change and forests at the environment ministry in Brazil, Natalie Unterstell knows the Amazon. Following a different path in 2020, she helped to create United for a Living Amazon to mobilize celebrities and philanthropists to support indigenous communities in the face of the COVID-19. Join Natalie to learn about the pandemic and its impact on the health of traditional Amazon communities.

Ecosystem Service Measurements, Credits and Bank Carbon Offsets
Alex Simiema: For the past 14 years, Alex Simiema has worked to build a new Brazilian business that measures carbon stocks and water flows. Today, his company, Brasil Mata Viva, partners with the government of the Brazillian state of Amapá to publish certified ecosystem service credits for landowners to sell and pay for conservation. To date several of Brazil’s largest banks have purchased the credits as carbon offsets. Join us to meet Alex and learn about his journey.

Predicting Deforestation from Space and Designing New Forest Credits
Diego Saez Gil: Originally conceived in 2005, the United Nations framework for forest financing has struggled to scale. Certifying avoided deforestation and financing it is complex and expensive. As a Latin American tech entrepreneur, Diego Saez Gil wanted to help so in 2018 he founded Pachama. Supported by satellite imaging and artificial intelligence, the company buys certified forest credits originated from the Amazon and elsewhere. Diego and his team then resell the credits to Microsoft and other companies as carbon offsets. Now Pachama is working to originate less expensive credits, and at scale with its technology, so that we can better scale financing to reduce deforestation. Diego joins us to share his story.

The Amazon Opportunity for Pharmacological and Biomimetic Entrepreneurship
Dr. Maritta Koch-Weser: The Amazon Third Way Initiative wants the forest to benefit from the next industrial revolution, the one based on knowledge and data instead of extraction. As a hotbed of biodiversity, the Amazon is holding secrets that can lead to major breakthroughs in pharmaceutical and biomimetic entrepreneurship. These innovations can help ensure the forest is worth more alive and standing then cut and burned. Dr. Maritta Koch-Weser joins us to share the story.

Uniting the Right and Left for Land Tenure Reform
Alexandre Mansur: An estimated 90% of Amazon deforestation is illegal. People occupy land, raise cattle and lobby for land titles. A new campaign called “Be Legal with the Amazon” reduces the incentive by pushing for regularization of “undesignated” lands. The campaign united both environmentals and the agricultural industry to support the cause. That’s a big deal. Alexandre Mansur joins us to tell the story.

Consensus Building and the Amazon Strategies of a Brazilian Philanthropy
Renata Piazzon: Like the gun control debate in the United States, the politics of Amazon conservation are polarized and paralyzed. Renata Piazzon tells the story of the “Consultation for the Amazon,” a new group of one hundred of Brazil’s most influential leaders coming together to design a new vision for development of the region. Renata works with Instituto Arapyau, the philanthropic venture of Guilherme Leal, co-founder of the Natura cosmetics giant.

Finance and Market Access Innovations for the Amazon
Marina Campos: Small community producers are the center of the local Amazon bio-economy. Unfortunately, they have limited access to financing and markets. Marina Campos tells the story of Conexsus and the interventions the NGO makes to bring finance, market access and technical support to these cooperatives, indigenous communities and traditional populations.

Mining and Deforestation in Venezuela
Cristina Vollmer Burelli: Though not yet visible in newspaper headlines, the Venezuela Amazon may be suffering the worst environmental disaster of the Western Hemisphere. Cristina Burelli joins us to tell the story of SOS Orinoco and its efforts to mitigate the impacts of illegal mining in the Orinoco river basin, an essential process to prevent conflicts from exploding into the wider region.

Food Innovation in the Brazilian Amazon and a Regenerative Forestry Startup
Derek Brett Gallo: The new startup, Awi Superfoods, works in the Brazilian Amazon to promote rainforest regeneration through agroforestry, to improve lives through community involvement, and to earn income through food innovation.

German Investment Strategies in the Brazilian Amazon
Alexander Borges Rose: The German Corporation for International Cooperation, or GIZ for short, is one of the largest funders of Amazon conservation in Latin America. Alexander Borges Rose joins us to explain some of their investment strategies in the welfare of indigenous peoples, bio-economy entrepreneurship, forest financing mechanisms, land registration, and more.

The Land Accelerator
Amanda Gant: If you’re an Amazon region agroforestry farmer and you want to restore degraded land by producing a new crop for sale to the North American market, it can be hard to get started. The new Land Accelerator guides the way. Founded in 2020 by the World Resources Institute, the Accelerator offers a 4 month course to help entrepreneurs with crop selection, financial analysis, pitching investors and more. Amanda Gant joins us to tell the story.

Improving Amazon Bio-Economy Market Intelligence
Daniel Contrucci: If sustainable Amazon produce can reach global markets it can finance conservation. Lab Amazonia, a recent collaboration among key stakeholders in the region produced new intelligence on market opportunities and revealed strategies that simultaneously increase demand and reduce the costs of transportation and logistics. Examples include developing transportation and distribution hubs, improving online sales, and developing a macro-level brand to promote commerce from the region. Daniel Contrucci of Climate Ventures joins us to tell the story.

A Beverage Startup to Halt Human Trafficking and Reduce Deforestation
Terra Judge: REBBL tea is now a household name in the United States. But, did you know that it was founded as en effort to fight human trafficking and improve indigenous livelihoods that protect the Amazon forest? Terra Judge joins us to tell the story.

Microphilanthorpy in the Amazon
Maria Amalia Souza: Microphilanthropy is not easy. It is the process of investing small dollar amounts in strategic projects. It is especially challenging at scale and in a region as complex as the Amazon. But Casa does it. The Casa Socio-Environmental Fund unites local leaders and large global foundations, offers small grant capabilities, and supports sustainability, justice and community-level protagonism across South America, with a special footprint in the Amazon. Maria Amalia Souza joins us to tell the story.

Sharing Sustainable Land Use Knowledge Globally
John Colmey: The Global Landscapes Forum is the world’s largest platform for sharing integrated land-use knowledge. Founded by the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Program, the Global Landscapes Forum breaks down research silos and works to reconcile nature conservation with economic activity. John Colmey joins us to tell the story.

Responsible Artisanal Gold Mining in the Amazon
Susan Keane: There is an epidemic of artisanal gold mining in the Amazon. It pollutes the river with mercury and poisons indigenous communities. The Minimata Convention is an international treaty signed in 2013 to protect people and the environment from mercury pollution. Because of this treaty, today, planetGOLD works to make small-scale gold mining safer, cleaner, and more profitable around the world, with programs across the Amazon. Susan Keane joins us to tell the story.

The UN’s Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the REDD Programme
Gabriel Labbate: In the months to come we will discuss the role of intergovernmental cooperation and the United Nations in protecting the Amazon. First up, did you know that 2021 kicks off the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, a global call to action to prevent, halt and reverse degradation of our ecosystems. Gabriel Labbate joins us to discuss the decade as well as his work on the UN REDD Programme. That is R.E.D.D. which stands for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. It is a UN framework that systematizes deforestation prevention. Gabriel’s program gives technical support to governments to help them plan and implement REDD commitments. Join us to learn more.

Syntropic Farming in the Amazon
Fernando Russo: Agroforestry, or farming with trees, maximizes solar intake and produces greater yields in smaller areas. Fernando Russo, founder of Meraki Impact, joins us to describe his enthusiasm for syntropic agroforestry and his investment in reNature, a new, global agroforestry startup building model farms and schools.

Investing in Deforestation Free Commodities
Brett Mallen: The government of Norway invested $100 million dollars in the “&Green Fund” to de-risk the investments of others and mobilize up to $2 billion in additional sustainability financing. Managed by Sail Ventures, the Fund aims to protect 5 million hectares of land while improving the lives of 1 million smallholder farmers, including many in the Amazon. Brett Mallen joins us to tell the story.

Green Bonds and Sustainable Agriculture in Brazil
Justine Leigh-Bell: Founded in 2010, the Climate Bonds Initiative works to mobilize the $100 trillion bond market for climate change solutions. Justine Leigh-Bell joins us to describe the extraordinary growth of the sector. The initiative has identified a $160 billion opportunity for Brazil to transition to sustainable agriculture. Join us to learn more..

Acumen and Amazon Investments
Virgilio Barco: Founded 20 years ago, the Acumen Fund supports social enterprises that serve low-income communities in developing countries. The Acumen Latin America program invests in Amazon region agribusinesses to improve commercial viability and increase income for small-holder farmers. The Latin American director of Acumen, Virgilio Barco, joins us today to tell the story.

Amazon Bio-Economy and Health
Marcelo Salazar: This week we learn how better public health and the commercialization of key forest products can help reduce deforestation. Marcelo Salazar is an Amazon pioneer. For more than a decade he has worked to advance forest based economies through Instituto Socio-Ambiental. Now, today, he also is working on a new strategy to reduce deforestation by improving public health. Originally conceived in Indonesia, Marcelo is helping to bring the Health-in-Harmony program to the Amazon for the first time. We mention a new Amazon candy bar startup as well.

Investing in Amazonian Forestry
Amrita Vatsal: Founded in the mid 2000s, EFM invests in companies that address the climate crisis and social inequality. Setting up shop in South America just 1 year ago, they are developing a pipeline of projects to sequester carbon, advance sustainable land use, and create alternative livelihoods. Amrita Vatsal joins us to share the story and discusses Colombia’s carbon tax. Thought priced at just $5/ton, the system finances a local market for emissions reduction. Though some forest projects rely on the market for profitability, some agroforestry projects do not. Join us to learn the story.

Designing an Agroforestry Financial Product for the Amazon
Panel discussion with Ethan Steinberg of Propagate Ventures, Mark Chasan of Transformative Capital, Daniel Sabara of Beraca, Walter Vergara of Initiative 20×20 and Amanda Ravenhill of Regenerosity, and Others: Amazon reforestation is essential for ecosystem integrity. Community-led agroforestry can make the process profitable and scalable. How can we design Green Bonds and other financial products to protect vulnerable areas, replace monocultures with polycultures, restore biodiversity, empower traditional communities, and create wealth? Join Propagate Ventures co-founder Ethan Steinberg, regenerative economy evangelist Mark Chasan and others to discuss the possibilities for the Amazon.

Philanthropy for a New Bio-Economy in the Amazon: Fundo Vale
Marcia Soares: As one of Brazil’s largest mining companies, Vale also sponsors one of the Amazon’s largest grantmakers. By creating innovative financial mechanisms and strengthening businesses with positive social and environmental impacts, Fundo Vale, or the Vale Fund, is helping Brazil to become a global leader in bio-economics. Building on experience preserving and restoring the Amazon, the Fund was created 10 years ago. Marcia Soares joins us to tell the story.

Philanthropy for a Low Carbon Economy of the Amazon: Climate and Society Institute
Gustavo Pinheiro: The Climate and Society Institute mobilizes resources and develops networks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by advancing low carbon economies, promoting policy engagement, and transforming land-use strategies towards conservation and away from deforestation. Gustavo Pinheiro joins us to share the vision.

Investing in New Market Opportunities in the Amazon: Perspectives of a Local Amazonian Retailer
Denis Minev: Today we learn about one man’s journey to advance Amazon-region eco-entrepreneurship. Denis Minev is an Amazonian business leader, investor and philanthropist. As President of Bemol, one of the region’s largest chain of retail stores, Denis advocates for conservation through a kind of economic development that mobilizes new entrepreneurs, reduces bureaucracy, and pioneers technological innovation.

The US Government and the Future of the Amazon Forest
Panel Discussion by Alexandre Alves of USAID Brazil, Meg Symington of WWF, Daniel Nepstad of the Earth Innovation Institute, Andrew Miller of Amazon Watch: The US election and the arrival of a new US Presidential administration could change many business, political and conservation priorities for the Amazon region. Diverse events ranging from presidential debate remarks to Paris agreement support have created much speculation. How will these changes impact South American environmental policy and the future of Amazon conservation? Several groups join us to discuss, including representatives from USAID Brazil, Amazon Watch, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Earth Innovation Institute.

International Law and Protecting the Amazon
Astrid Puentes: Today we discuss international rule-of-law and the Amazon. You can’t have healthy economic development across the Amazon without the healthy rule of law. Founded in 1998, AIDA, the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, protects our right to a healthy environment by using the power of international law to create sustainable solutions across Latin America. As co-director of AIDA, Astrid Puentes joins us to tell the story.

New Technology and Market Access for the Amazon
Keith Agoada: Today we see technology connect smallholder farmers and global markets. While some Amazonian producers struggle to access markets, Producers Market provides a technology solution. Bringing efficiency to the $4.3 trillion agriculture industry, the company connects buyers and producers, provides sustainability verification processes, develops “smart value chains” and incorporates new storytelling technologies to help branding and marketing. The company fonder, Keith Agoada, joins us to tell the story.

Amazon Region Trade and Bio-Economy Entrepreneurship
Raoni Rajao: Professor Raoni Rajão of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) researches the relationship between science, technology and policy with a focus on deforestation, trade, and payments for environmental services. How are trade policies impacting development in the Amazon? What are the primary drivers towards and away from sustainability? Professor Rajão joins us to help us all understand.

Conflict Resolution: Towards Responsible Mining in the Amazon
Juliana Dib Rezende and Vasco van Roosmalen: Today we discuss how to do responsible mining in the Amazon. While mining is traditionally among the most environmentally destructive industries, new approaches to community involvement and dispute resolution can democratize wealth distribution and limit environmental impact. By facing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of the extractive industry in the Amazon, the Utu Social Impact Fund helps victim communities access environmental licensing finance to conduct local social and economic development planning processes. Julia Dib Rezende and Vasco van Roosmalen join us to tell the story.

The Quest for Land Rights and Tenure
Nonette Royo: Today we learn about indigenous land tenure. Traditional indigenous territories encompass 22 percent of the world’s land and 80% of the planet’s biodiversity, but governments only recognize legal ownership of a fraction of it, thereby putting lives and ecosystems at risk. The International Land and Forest Tenure Facility serves as a financial mechanism to help traditional communities secure land rights and live sustainably. It supports communities globally, including in the Amazon. Nonette Royo, the Executive Director of the Facility, joins us to tell the story.

Root Causes, Rule of Law, and Delivery Units
Daniella Castro: Today we learn about governance, rule of law and the Brazilian Amazon. An attorney and impact advisory consultant and founder of Impacta Advocacy, Daniela Castro sought to understand the root causes of Amazon deforestation. Through a lengthy investigation of industry, policy, law enforcement, and government operations, she has identified key levers for change, including mechanisms that monitor and support the operation, transparency and accountability of government programs – a “Delivery Unit.” Join us to learn more.

Building a Sub-National Climate Fund with an Amazon Focus
Sub-national Climate Fund Panel Discussion with David Cogut and Patrick Scheurle of Pegasus Capital, Christophe Nuttall from R20 Regions of Climate Action, and Pierre Rousseau of BNP Paribas : Today we discuss climate-focused infrastructure investments and the Amazon. Concerned about planetary sustainability, a team of investor, non-profit and government institutions, joined forces in 2020 to launch the Sub-national Climate Fund Global (SnCF) to finance nature-based solutions to climate change. Positioned to mobilize $750 million with seed funding from the Green Climate Fund, the group is poised to support projects in dozens of countries, including the Amazon region of South America. Learn from several partners representing a private equity group, Pegasus Capital, a bank, BNP Paribas, and an NGO focused on sub-national government action, the R20 – Regions for Climate Action, originally founded by Arnold Schwarzenegger.