Introducing the Chico Mendes Prize for the best early career practitioner

Following the announcement of the Georgina Mace Prize last week, we are delighted to announce the Chico Mendes Prize, our new biennial prize for the best Practice Insights article published by an early career practitioner in Ecological Solutions and Evidence.

A version of this post is available in Portuguese.

The Chico Mendes Prize will be awarded every two years to the best Practice Insights article published in the journal by an ecological practitioner at the start of their career.

About Chico Mendes

Chico Mendes 18_circle

Chico Mendes was a Brazilian rubber tapper and environmental activist whose continued fight and defence for the Amazon rainforest, local labourers and indigenous peoples changed the course of conservation across Brazil.

Born into a generation of seringueiros (rubber tappers), Mendes grew up in the Amazon and became the voice of seringueiros throughout Brazil with his trade union activism and support for local communities. With increasing deforestation and expulsion of forest inhabitants, Mendes emphasized the need to establish reserves protected from destruction, and from which natural resources can be sustainability extracted to benefit local labourers and indigenous communities.

His work was internationally recognized with the UNEP Global 500 Roll of Honour in 1987, and after his sudden assassination just a year later, the Brazilian government posthumously established ‘Extractive reserves’ – a protected area from which its inhabitants have the right to practice traditional extractive practices, such as hunting and harvesting.

We are launching this prize ahead of Chico Mendes Week (15-22 December) – which runs every year from his birthday to the day he was assassinated – in honour of his work and the work of on-the-ground practitioners around the world.

I am honoured with this tribute recognising the struggle and trajectory of my father, a simple rubber tapper, whose dream and determination changed the history of the Brazilian environment

Angela Mendes, daughter and
Coordinator of the Chico Mendes Committee

You can follow Chico Mendes Week on Twitter and Instagram as the Chico Mendes Committee and guests discuss the climate crisis and highlight some of the solutions led by Indigenous peoples and traditional Extractive communities.

Find out more about our Practice Insights articles on the journal website.

We will be shortlisting and announcing the winner of both the Georgina Mace Prize and the Chico Mendes Prize in Spring 2022.

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