A letter from Thiago Gomes, Brazil (GESA 2013 participant)
I am writing from Southern Brazil, where life has been in full motion. I have successfully defended my PhD thesis in Ecology at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in August. A few articles are to come out of the thesis, which I will hopefully be able to share with you soon. Moreover, my thesis is to be incorporated into the judicial process of land demarcation and homologation for the Laklãnõ-Xokleng Indigenous Peoples, revealing that their knowledge, practices and presence in the region has maintained higher forest cover and biodiversity compared to neighbouring regions. Along with my indigenous partners, we had a Rufford Foundation Small Grant accepted for an eco-cultural restoration project based on red-listed native species’ nurseries. Work will begin in the coming weeks.
Last December we have been blessed with our second son, Eduardo. Ana and I have had our hands and hearts extra full.
In January, I was invited to inaugurate and coordinate the Ethnobotany & Regeneration Department at Guayakí Yerba Mate (Sustainable Rainforest Products). Guayakí is part of a global movement of B Companies and is driven by the concept of regeneration of ecosystems, cultures and local economies. It has been a few weeks since we have relocated to the Guarapuava region, in Central Paraná. We are mainly working with indigenous communities in southern Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay with sustainable (organic and fair trade certified) harvest of yerba mate and ethnobotanical research for promoting processes of regeneration.
Abraços e saúde!