October 2, 2022
(crédito: Global Environment Facility/Flickr)

Prominent biologist Gustavo Fonseca dies in Brazil at 66

Published on 08/31/2022 18:52

(Credit: GEF/Flickr)

Gustavo Fonseca, one of the greatest Brazilian names for environmental protection, died on Wednesday (31/8), at the age of 66, the victim of a severe heart attack. Gustavo lived with his family in Washington (USA).

Gustavo graduated in Biology at the University of Brasilia (UnB) and received his MA and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Florida. When he returned to Brazil, the biologist began to participate directly in the ideas of biological conservation in Brazil.

to me MailProfessor Ricardo Machado of UnB’s Institute of Biological Sciences (IB/UnB) shared memories about Gustavo. “My wife and I met Gustavo in 1986 when he returned from Florida, where he worked with major conservationists at the time, and when he returned to Brazil, he brought with him the idea of ​​starting to develop conservation here a little more.”

Ricardo says that he and his wife, teacher Ludmila Mora, were students of Gustavo and that they are currently using and trying to apply the teachings they learned from him. “We at the university attend to these teachings and try to apply these principles that are very important right now, to preserve our natural heritage and preserve biodiversity,” he says.

Gustavo spent years working as a professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and there he created one of the first master’s and doctoral courses in biodiversity conservation. Gustavo’s conservation work has also received support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which has funded many of the students’ theses and dissertations.

Another legacy he left was the creation of the Biodiversitas Foundation, which began by donating resources from the McCartney Foundation in the United States. “It was [uma doação] At that time, three hundred thousand dollars, which is a ridiculous amount to start the activities of the foundation,” explains Ricardo.


Work outside Brazil

According to Ricardo, to try to reach new heights in conservation, he started working with a North American NGO called Conservation International He was one of the first presidents of this organization for Brazil.

Ricardo and Ludmila came to work with him on this endeavor as assistants and together they published several publications in the early 1990s. Soon Gustavo began to interact more with the headquarters of the organization in Washington (USA) and began to maintain contact with researchers from several countries .. Since he was a professor at UFMG, he could not stay away from the university for a long time and therefore had to leave the organization non-governmental.

Soon he got a new job. Global Environment Fund (GEF) Which is one of the financial arms of Global Conservation. Thus, it has defined policies for the use of resources intended for biodiversity conservation in many countries of the world.

Gustavo was also the recipient of the Ordem da Ark de Ouro Prize, which recognized his work in biodiversity conservation and was awarded by the Government of the Netherlands.

“It would really leave a very big gap to keep Brazil because it is reconciling this aspect of being very articulated between the great millionaires of the planet, between the governments of different countries, particularly the governments of North America and Brazil. And that is the ultimate ability to create opportunities for people to participate in this cause. Ricardo highlights. He also noted that “many people have been inspired, influenced by, and supported by him to start their careers in the applied sciences of the Biodiversity Constellation.”