2023 Lovejoy Symposium




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The Amazon is close to reaching a tipping point, which puts into question the future of its ecological resilience, the resilience of its people, and the health of the planet. The tropical rainforest and river system spans eight countries—each with its own peoples, cultural values, political economies, and environmental concerns and priorities. As countries work together to achieve solutions at scale, they are also acknowledging these distinct local realities.

On October 17, in the first part of A Turning Point for the Amazon, the Thomas Lovejoy Science for Nature Symposium, we heard from thought leaders about the Amazon’s resilience to threats and disturbances and solutions to keep the Amazon and its people thriving.

On October 24, we continued the discussion on enhancing science across the Amazon and sustainability to achieve converging goals for people and nature.




Day 1 Recordings

Day 2 Recordings




Day 1: October 17

Opening Remarks at 1:00PM EDT


Carter Roberts, President & CEO, WWF
Kirk Johnson, National Museum of Natural History


The challege of Amazonian sustainability - Paulo Artaxo, University of São Paulo

Fireside Chat

Paulo Artaxo, University of São Paulo
Yolanda Kakabadse, WWF-US Board of Directors

SESSION 1 at 1:45 PM EDT


Rebecca N. Johnson, National Museum of Natural History


  • Protected Areas and Indigenous Lands role in building resilience in the Amazon - Mariana Ferreira, WWF-Brasil
  • The Importance of Tackling Forest Degradation for the Conservation of the Amazon - Dolors Armenteras, National University of Colombia
  • The Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragmentation Project - Mario Cohn-Haft, National Institute for Amazon Research
  • Indigenous peoples and local communities' interdependencies with Amazonian freshwaters under threat - Simone Athayde, Florida International University
  • A thirsty future: will tropical forests survive with more intense droughts and fires? - Paulo Brando, Yale School of the Environment


Moderated by Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

Session 2 at 3:50 PM EDT


Meg Symington, World Wildlife Fund-US

A conversation direct from the amazon

Juan Carlos Jintiach, Global Alliance of Territorial Communities
Patricia Gualinga, Native Kichwa People of Sarayaku
Tarsicio Granizo, WWF-Ecuador

Session 2: Solutions for people and nature

Converging Goals, Divergent Strategies: Future Pathways for People and Nature in the Amazon: Marianne Schmink, University of Florida

  • Devising an alternative development path for the Amazon - Benoit Bosquet, The World Bank
  • The role of cities in providing solutions for the Amazon - Tatiana Schor, Inter-American Development Bank Amazon Initiative
  • Cross Border crime and security challenges threatening the Amazon rainforest - Bram Ebus, Amazon Underworld
  • Brazil's Cattle Supply Chains: Harnessing Big Data for Amazon Conservation - Amintas Brandão, University of Wisconsin - Madison
  • Advancing Towards Indigenous Led Conservation in the Madidi Landscape - Lilian Painter, Wildlife Conservation Society-Bolivia


Moderated by Marianne Schmink, University of Florida


Closing remarks by Rebecca Shaw, World Wildlife Fund

Day 2: October 24

Vitual Event starting at 1:00PM EDT


Kurt Holle, WWF-Peru

On social-ecological change and governance challenges in the Amazon, Eduardo Brondizio, Indiana University

SESSION 3: Science for and in the Amazon

How do we produce science for the Amazon and in the Amazon?

There has been a significant production of knowledge in the Amazon related to climate, biophysical and social processes, and their interactions. There is increased attention to climate change impacts and the associated cascading effects on ecological and social systems, and the responses needed to avoid a likely tipping point and enhance resilience of natural ecosystems and people’s livelihoods. More recently, there is growing interest in assessing what responses can achieve outcomes for both nature and people, what synergies are needed across interventions, and what multi-level actions have the largest potential to contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future in the Amazon. Another critical discussion is on the importance of integrating diverse knowledge systems, including indigenous and local knowledge, in understanding socio-ecological dynamics and potential solutions. This session will bring views from institutional actors and academics on the avenues for science to contribute to social and policy processes to advance sustainability and resilience in the Amazon.


  • Mariana Varese, Wildlife Conservation Society - Peru
  • Marielos Peña-Claros, Wageningen University & Research
  • Karen B. Strier, Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS)
  • Diego Ochoa, Humboldt Institute
  • Alexandra Moreira, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)

Moderated by Cesar Suarez, WWF-Colombia

Direct from the Amazon

  • Braulina Baniwa, ANMIGA: National Articulation of Indigenous Women of Brazil
  • Tabea Casique Coronado, AIDESEP Asheninka People – Ucayali, Peru

SESSION 4: Diverse realities in the Amazon

Sustain, adapt, and change to enhance sustainability and resilience across places

This session will showcase the diverse realities of forest and aquatic resource management in the Amazon, including by Indigenous peoples, smallholders and agro-extractive communities, fishers, and cattle ranchers. Territories controlled and managed by Indigenous peoples contribute to effective stewardship of nature but continue to face external threats. Forest conversion is largely due to a cattle ranching sector that is under increasing pressure to become more sustainable. Diverse traditional agro-extractive and fishing communities are adopting multiple strategies to sustain and diversify their livelihoods. Increasing impacts of climate change affect these socio-ecological realities differently, but responses are emerging to sustain, adapt, or change current management practices and institutions. In addition, large-scale restoration is essential to maintain and enhance resilience in the Amazon. These efforts to sustain, adapt, and change require coordinated policies, collective action, and supporting finance to achieve converging goals. This session will discuss the pathways to achieve converging goals while attending to the diverse socio-ecological realities in the Amazon.


  • Marcos F. Terán Valenzuela, Conservación Amazónica
  • Leandro Castello, Virginia Tech
  • Lisa Rausch, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Alex Alvarez, School for International Training

Moderated by Pablo Pacheco, WWF

Closing remarks by Meg Symington, WWF




Day One Speakers

Click on the images to learn more about each speaker.

Dolores Armenteras

Paulo Artaxo

Simone Athayde

Benoît Bosquet

Amintas Brandão

Paulo Brando

Mario Cohn-Haft

Bram Ebus

Juliet Eilperin

Mariana Napolitano Ferreira

Tarsicio Granizo

Juan Carlos Jintiach

Kirk Johnson

Rebecca Johnson

Yolanda Kakabadse

Lilian Painter

Carter Roberts

Tatiana Schor

Marianne Schmink

Rebecca Shaw

Meg Symington

Day Two Speakers

Click on the images to learn more about each speaker.

Alex Alvarez

Brualina Baniwa

Eduardo Brondizio

Tabea Casique Coronado

Leandro Castello

Kurt Holle

Alexandra Moreira

Diego Ochoa

Marielos Peña-Claros

Lisa Rausch

Karen B. Strier

Cesar Suarez

Marcos F. Terán Valenzuela

Mariana Varese