Yesterday, April 24, in San Francisco, California, TarcÀsio Feitosa, social activist in the Terra do Meio (Middle Ground) region of the northern Brazilian state of Pará, was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in the South and Central American category for his efforts to preserve the Amazon.
Feitosa is one of the people responsible for the creation of the world’s largest patchwork of protected tropical forest areas, a total of around 225,000 square kilometers including the Verde para Sempre ("Forever Green") and Riozinho do Anfrísio extractive reserves (RESEX), the Serra do Pardo National Park, and the Terra do Meio Ecological Station.
Feitosa was also involved in the creation of the Iriri RESEX, which should be concretized in the coming months.
Feitosa is the third Brazilian recipient of the US$ 125,000 prize. The first, in 1992, was Carlos Alberto Ricardo, one of the founders of the Socioenvironmental Institute.
Ricardo was recognized for his defense of the rights of indigenous peoples during the process of elaborating the 1988 Federal Constitution, as well his accomplishments related to the demarcation of the Yanomami territory.
The other Brazilian winner is the current minister of the Environment, Marina Silva, who was awarded the prize in 1996 for her efforts to establish extractive reserves in her home state of Acre.