Voices of Global Forest Watch: Vinicius Silgueiro, Instituto Centro de Vida

May 29, 2024|
Isabela Barriga and Inge Snip
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Category
  • Users In Action
Topics
  • Brazil
  • Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities
  • Small grants fund

A decade ago, the launch of Global Forest Watch (GFW) ushered in a new era of accountability and transparency around monitoring and protecting the world’s forests. To celebrate 10 years of impact, our Voices of Global Forest Watch series will highlight successes of GFW users, partners and community members throughout the year. We invite you to read, watch and share the stories of exceptional leaders in forest monitoring who have played a pivotal role in protecting forests everywhere.

“Forest, for me, is life. Forest is water, it’s land, it’s people.” – Vinicius Silgueiro, Territorial Intelligence Coordinator, Instituto Centro de Vida

Vinicius Silgueiro’s story begins with a deep-seated connection to the Brazilian Amazon, inspiring his efforts to protect it through his work at the Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV), a nonprofit organization that focuses on sustainable land use and preserving natural resources in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, which is known for its rich biodiversity.

“I was born and grew up in an environment with a diversity of vegetation between the Cerrado and the Pantanal biomes, and then I lived in the Amazon. Having a forest is having life,” said Vinicius, who has been working at ICV since he was an intern 14 years ago.

ICV uses GFW’s extensive satellite imagery and deforestation alert capabilities in its environmental protection work.

As a Small Grants Fund (SGF) recipient from 2020-2022, ICV helped expand GFW’s use within the Mato Grosso Public Prosecutor’s Office to hold landholders accountable for environmental crimes. ICV trained the prosecutor’s technicians on how to use GFW tools and data to fight illegal deforestation and fires, and helped develop a methodology and process for prosecutors and technical staff to identify and act on illegal deforestation alerts.

Credit: ICV

ICV also developed a series of tutorial videos to help prosecutors, technicians, consultants, researchers, academics and others monitor changes in land cover caused by fires and deforestation using GFW.

“We have noticed an increase in environmental inspection efforts both by the public prosecutor’s office and the State Secretariat of the Environment to carry out field inspections and investigate environmental damages and infractions,” said Vinicius.

ICV’s work set a precedent for integrating remote sensing technology in environmental conservation efforts across Mato Grosso. Vinicius believes that involving communities such as Indigenous Peoples in these efforts is crucial for sustainability.

“An essential part of this work is people’s sense of ability [to use forest monitoring tools],” said Vinicius, explaining how ICV has fostered a community-based approach to environmental monitoring, equipping individuals with the tools to gather and report data on forest crimes. “We have more than 40 Indigenous Peoples in [Mato Grosso] today who have the potential to use monitoring tools to monitor their territories and protect them directly.”

Credit: ICV

These activities have enabled prosecutors, technicians and the State Secretariat for the Environment to assemble detailed evidence, including geotagged photos and GPS coordinates of illegal activities, which are instrumental in pinpointing and addressing deforestation hotspots. The data collected has significantly enhanced legal enforcement and conservation efforts.

Since 2020, ICV has expanded its use of GFW tools beyond the Amazon to monitor other critical biomes. A recently published scientific article addresses the experience and results with the use of GFW by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Mato Grosso to monitor and deter deforestation in the Cerrado biome.

“Biomes such as the Pantanal and the Cerrado do not often have as much visibility as the Amazon, but they are very important to climate and hydrological balance, and house enormous biodiversity,” said Vinicius, explaining that Mato Grosso includes areas of three of Brazil’s six biomes. “A state with all this natural wealth, with a diversity of Indigenous Peoples and traditional communities, as well as a leader in agricultural and livestock productivity, presents itself as an excellent laboratory for finding the sustainability solutions our planet needs.”

Learn more about Instituto Centro de Vida here.

You can also follow Instituto Centro de Vida’s work to protect and restore forest landscapes on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter (X).


Video filmed at the Land & Carbon Lab Summit in June 2023.

Category
  • Users In Action
Topics
  • Brazil
  • Indigenous Peoples & Local Communities
  • Small grants fund

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