Mary Helena Allegretti

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Mary Helena Allegretti "has become a national and international reference for her key role in defending and galvanizing the Amazonian rubber tapper movement during violent clashes of rainforest residents with large landholders that resulted in the widely publicized assassination of rubber tapper leader Chico Mendes. She also was instrumental in the creation of extractive reserves, one of the first formal models to reconcile economic development of rainforest populations with the conservation of rainforest cover. For this work Mary Helena Allegretti received several prestigious awards (e.g. Global 500, WWF Gold Medal). She has lectured all around the world, consulted with many international environmental and development institutions (e.g. UNDP, GEF, IDB, WRI), took part in many policy forums, and has published numerous academic and policy papers. Her writing on the rise of the rubber tapper movement and the proposal of extractive reserve are an international reference and continue to represent milestones in the integrated development and conservation literature.

"Dr. Allegretti‘s academic background lies in anthropology, with a MSc-degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Brasilia including long term field research in the State of Acre, Western Amazon. In 2002 she received her PhD in Sustainable Development at the Center for Sustainable Development of the University of Brasília . Her thesis discusses Chico Mendes and the rubber tapper movement in the Amazon, as an example of the interrelationship between social and environmental policies in Brazil.

"In addition to significant academic and activist experiences at the regional, national and international level, Dr. Allegretti has invaluable hands-on experience in the Brazilian environmental policy arena. First, she was State Secretary of Environment, Science and Technology in the Amazonian State of Amapá and in charge of the implementation of a state program for the sustainable development in the region from 1995 through 1996. Since 1999 she has been National Secretary for the Amazon Region at the Brazilian Ministry for the Environment and responsible for the formulation and implementation of sustainable development policies throughout the Amazon Region." [1]

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  1. 2004 Annual Meeting Speaker Bios A—I, philanthropyroundtable, accessed November 5, 2009.