Critical theme: lessons and ideas for sustainable development in the Amazon

Critical theme

IIED's Critical Theme seminar on 23 October 2017 featured the general director of the Sustainable Amazon Foundation discussing the work of the Brazilian NGO

A photo of the Amazon rainforest, with water in the foreground. Sixty per cent of the rainforest, which covers 2,100,000 square miles, is located in Brazil (Photo:, Creative Commons, via Flickr)

Lessons and ideas for sustainable development in the Amazon were discussed at IIED's latest Critical Theme seminar, which took place on Monday, 23 October.

The keynote speaker was Virgilio Viana, general director of Fundação Amazonas Sustentável (FAS), or the Sustainable Amazon Foundation. He discussed the Brazilian NGO's work to promote sustainable involvement, environmental conservation and the improvement of the quality of life of the riverine communities of the state of Amazonas.

The seminar featured two 15-minute presentations, from Viana and IIED senior associate Steve Bass, who had recently been on a mutual sabbatical with Viana. There was also be a 45-minute question-and-answer session, followed by traditional Brazilian refreshments.

About the Critical Theme series

IIED set up the 'Critical Theme' discussion series to explore new ideas and to broaden the knowledge of its staff and partners. 

The seminars cover a wide range of speakers and topics. Previous events have looked at 'Tackling inequality and unsustainable consumption', 'Gender and environmental change', 'Pollution, politics and social media in China', and the 'Links between climate change and food security'.

Other events have focused on the governance of Marine Protected Areas, the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) and its work on reducing urban poverty, and the importance of meaningful stakeholder reporting. The most recent seminar examined the media reporting of links between migration, climate change and the conflict in Syria.