Fulbright Amazonia Creates an International Network to Support Conservation and Bioeconomies

Scholars will investigate the Amazon region’s most pressing challenges to inform public policy.

The Amazon River Basin contains the world’s largest and most biodiverse river as well as its largest rainforest, providing the planet with an irreplaceable ecosystem that is a habitat for 30 percent of the world’s plant and animal species and that absorbs two billion tons of carbon dioxide each year. The Amazon River is also a key source of food, medicine, and livelihood for more than 30 million people across the region.

This environment is under imminent threat but the underlying drivers and potential solutions are complex and require expertise from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines.

To meet this urgent need, the Fulbright Program has launched Fulbright Amazonia to create an international network of scholars and practitioners who will conduct research and recommend policies dedicated to protecting fragile eco-systems and improving lives and livelihoods in rural and Indigenous communities of the Amazon. They will focus on three key areas: 

  • Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Strengthening Human and Environmental Health and Security
  • Bioeconomy and Sustainable Development

Fulbright Amazonia builds on existing networks and the close collaboration among U.S. and Amazonian universities and research centers to promote innovative approaches that preserve Amazonian social and ecological health and community traditions. The initiative furthers the collaborative work of nations and NGOs committed to the region’s environmental sustainability. 

How will Fulbright Amazonia improve lives and promote change in the region?

Fulbright Amazonia supports research in the countries that border the Amazon river: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Through action-oriented research, Fulbright Amazonia Scholars contribute to the development of policies that support a sustainable Amazon Basin.

Sixteen expert researchers from the U.S. and Amazon countries will participate in Fulbright Amazonia under the intellectual leadership of two co-lead scholars. Participants will conduct cutting-edge research while also engaging in academic and professional exchanges between the U.S. and the Amazon countries.  

Working in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams, the inaugural Fulbright Amazonia Scholars will work together to explore socially relevant research questions to recommend actionable policies that directly improve the quality of life of communities throughout the Amazon region.

Who are the Fulbright Amazonia Scholars?

Ane Alencar
Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM)

Simone Athayde
University of Florida; World Resources Institute
United States

Daniel Bustos Echeverry
Vision Three Films and Noname

Hortensia Caballero-Arias
Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC)

Joao Vitor Campos-Silva
Instituto Juruá

Liliana Davalos
Stony Brook University
United States

Carlos Del Cairo
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá)

Mayra Esseboom
Centre for Agricultural Research in Suriname (CELOS)

Beth Feingold
University at Albany School of Public Health – SUNY
United States

Juan Pablo Iñamagua
Universidad de Cuenca

Bradley Olsen
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
United States

Rayane Pacheco
Center for Territorial Intelligence

Danny Pinedo
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

Sabina Ribeiro
Federal University of Acre (UFAC)

Galia Selaya
Forest Health Consortium, ECOSCONSULT-PRODIGY

Paola Torres-Slimming
Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas

Two notable Amazonia experts will provide intellectual leadership to the group:

Carlos Valério Aguiar Gomes
Federal University of Pará

Jeffrey Hoelle
University of California, Santa Barbara
United States

Meet the Fulbright Amazonia Scholars  

What kind of work will Fulbright Amazonia Scholars do?

The research projects supported by Fulbright Amazonia reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the most pressing social, economic, and environmental issues in today’s Amazon basin. From fisheries and livestock to agriculture and forestry resources, some projects illuminate local case studies of sustainable bioeconomies. Others focus on the impact of climate change on public health in order to better understand challenges faced by children as well as marginalized, rural, and Indigenous communities—such as food and water security. A third set of researchers will explore the forests of the Amazon to better understand their ecological and political vulnerabilities and advocate for their prosperity. Shared goals of inclusivity, dissemination, and policy impact unite these wide-ranging projects to ensure the applicability of their findings to those who inhabit this critical and unique region.

More about Fulbright Amazonia

Fulbright Amazonia is part of the Fulbright Program, which is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program. Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 400,000 participants from more than 160 countries with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright Amazonia is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with funding provided by the U.S. Government and the Fulbright Commission in Brazil (FBR), with the additional support of other binational Fulbright Commissions and U.S. Embassies in the Amazon region. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education. For further information about the Fulbright Program, please visit www.fulbrightprogram.org or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office at [email protected].

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