FAS wins award from UNESCO for sustainable development actions in the Amazon

15 of October of 2019 - Only Brazilian and only organization in South America throughout history to take the prize, FAS works for more than 11 years in environmental conservation and enhancement of people living in the forests

Photo: Caio Palazzo

The education initiatives promoted by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) to develop traditional communities in the Amazon earned the organization a unique recognition. Over 11 years of experience in environmental conservation and enhancement of people living in the forests, FAS was announced winner of the UNESCO Prize for Education for Sustainable Development (EDS) 2019, granted to innovative solutions from around the world capable of transforming the reality of the environment, the economy and society through sustainable development.

Two other global projects were also awarded, one in Botswana, on education for life and work, and another in Germany, with actions to combat climate change. Throughout history, FAS is the only Brazilian organization and throughout South America to be awarded. The winners were chosen by an independent international jury made up of members with high reputation in the field of ESD, among them Oscar Motomura (Brazil), Stephen Sterling (United Kingdom), May Makhzoumi (Lebanon), Yoshiyuki Nagata (Japão) Akpezi Ogbuigwe (Nigeria).

The announcement of the winners was made by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay. Each of the winners will receive an amount of US $ 50 thousand financed by the Government of Japan. The delivery will happen next 15 November at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, in France, during the UNESCO General Conference.

Sustainable development

Among the Education FAS shares for Sustainable Development (EDS) in the Amazon that led to the award winning innovative solutions are applied in 581 riverine and indigenous communities, which are located in 16 Conservation Units (UC), an area equivalent to 10,9 millions of hectares, where more than 39 thousand people and 9.598 families benefit. Among these actions are projects and programs for income generation, natural resource management, community empowerment, leadership training, traditional knowledge, support formal education, babyhood, Forest monitoring, infrastructure, pesquisa e desenvolvimento.

Such initiatives are taught and passed on to traditional populations within physical spaces built by the FAS in the riverine and indigenous communities, the so-called Centers for Conservation and Sustainability (CSC). When all, there are nine NCS across the Amazon that serve as implementation platform EDS and spaces to promote education and public policy to leverage solutions adapted to sustainable development.

This year alone, January to September of 2019, more than 750 students were enrolled participating in education activities in the NCS, from elementary school to East, Education for Youth and Adults (EJA) and Higher, as well as free courses. From 2016 a 2019, were more 340 courses and training developed.

Reduction of deforestation

The strategy of bringing education initiatives to develop communities in the Amazon FAS did the Brazilian institution with the greatest results of environmental conservation in the Amazon region. In recent years, programs and foundation projects achieved extremely positive results in reducing deforestation, of the foci of heat and poverty in the Amazon.

In ten years, between 2008 until 2018, deforestation rates decreased 76% in the areas of FAS's operations, as INPE / PRODES data, and the number of hotspots in these protected areas also fell 33% between January and August this year, compared to the same period last year, as Prodes. Already the average monthly income per person in protected areas increased 202%, according to a survey of Action and the World Bank.


These results reinforce the trend that environmental conservation is directly linked to the promotion of improving the quality of life of people living in the forests.

With this focus, the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation has invested over the past decade more than $ 85 million in relevant education to generate income, community empowerment, management of supply chains and formal education, coming from international cooperation as the Amazon Fund / BNDES and the German agency GIZ, besides private companies financing such as Bradesco, a Samsung e a Coca-Cola.

Furthermore, FAS has increased own participation in the discussion of public policy at the global level, with climate talks, nationally, with forest policies, and sub with environmental services, and also collaborating with the scientific production of requesting over 130 researchers evaluation and analysis of own projects, programs and internal results.

The General Superintendent of the foundation, Virgilio Viana, reinforces the strategy to conserve the environment by investing in education for sustainable development. "We have supported from the beginning innovative actions education able to cause people to make a bridge between the traditional knowledge of their cultures with knowledge and contemporary scientific knowledge. Our idea is to make the enterprising people of the forest, leaders of innovative processes able to give value to the biodiversity of the Amazon, generating jobs and income and making the forest is worth more standing than cut ", concluiu.

About the Award

Funded by the Government of Japan, the UNESCO-Japan Prize for Education for Sustainable Development is the fifth edition. In previous years they won Guatemala initiatives, The Savior, Germany, Indonesia, Cameroon, Japão, United Kingdom, Jordan, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Estonia.

The award was established by UNESCO's Executive Council under the Global Program of Action on ESD, to promote and reward processing ESD initiatives. Winners are chosen by an independent international jury based on criteria such as innovative solutions that change the reality of the people through sustainable development of the environment, the economy and society.