Alberto Campos was one of the winners of the Future For Nature Award in 2010. His life project is to do as much as possible to prevent extinctions. His work for the NGO Aquasis gives him the opportunity to prevent the extinction of the most threatened animals in North-East Brazil.
More about Alberto Campos
“My life project is to do as much as possible to prevent extinctions, in order to preserve the living building blocks of natural habitats and maintain the invaluable ecosystem services that are indispensable for the quality of life of humans around the globe. Billions are already being invested in habitat restoration to recover natural resources and services. Without several key species like pollinators, seed dispersers, grazers and keystone carnivores it is virtually impossible to mimic all the complex ecosystem relations and the resulting environmental services provided for free in naturally-balanced environments. My aim is to preserve the pieces of this evolving biodiversity puzzle that we are all part of.”
More about the project
“Since 1992, when the NGO Aquasis was founded with the mission to prevent extinctions in North-East Brazil, we have been identifying the most threatened animals in our region and setting up teams to conduct long-term conservation projects to protect these species and their habitats. Currently we are focusing on two marine mammals, the Antillean manatee and the Guiana dolphin, and two birds, the Araripe manakin and the grey-breasted parakeet. Aquasis is the Species Champion for both of these bird species in BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinction Programme, and Sir David Attenborough is our Species Champion for the Araripe manakin.
We presently run a Rehabilitation Centre for orphaned manatees, as well as conducting field research and awareness campaigns, and promoting habitat restoration and public policies (like the creation and management of protected areas) in six priority areas spread over four Brazilian states.
A special place for my project is the Cajuais tidal plain in Icapui municipality (Ceara State, Brazil), a regional biodiversity hotspot with great environmental and social importance. It is a major feeding ground for endangered manatees and migratory birds, and a large breeding and nursery habitat for many fish and crustaceans (especially spiny lobsters) that support the regional artisanal fisheries.
The Future For Nature Award gave us the financial support to conduct critical actions for manatee conservation in Brazil, and the media exposure arising from the Award has benefited not just the manatee project but Aquasis as a whole.”
Alberto Campos creates a strong and very direct link between conservation and people’s livelihoods. His project helps people improve their lives through effective management of mangroves and coastal areas. The project is clearly led by someone who can inspire, bring together, and communicate with very different groups of people. – 2010, Annette Lanjouw, International Selection Committee