The last few weeks have been eventful and I think I only made it to half the activities I was invited to. Following the 2012 Wildlife Conservation Network Expo I attended the 7th Annual Amazon Watch Luncheon and another monthly meeting with Bay Area Tropical Forest Network. Upon meeting new friends at these two events I was introduced to a weekend long National Bioneers Conference that ended with an afterparty set in the beautiful redwoods of West Marin.
Atossa Soltani, Executive Director of Amazon Watch speaking at the Luncheon.
PARE BELOMONTE – indigenous people freeing the Xingu River in the state of Pará, Brazil.
Tupak and other indigenous Amazonian guests speak about their dependent livelihoods within and around the rivers of the Amazon.
Board members share their personal stories and experiences in the Amazon.
Nina Gualinga and myself at the 7th Annual Amazon Watch Luncheon October 15th, 2012.
The earrings are made by the women from Sarayaku, Ecuador. It´s made of guacamaya azul bird feathers. The people eat the birds and make earings with the feathers so no part of the animal goes to waste.
Nina selling jewelry from Ecuador at the Amazon Watch Luncheon.
Tupak and I discussing REDD-plus.
The Amazon provides countless medicines and herbs. This natural analgesic sample was given to guests, grown and harvested by sustainable communities of the Peruvian Amazon jungle.
Following the Amazon Watch Luncheon I took off to the University of California, Berkeley to attend a monthly Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) meeting.
The University of California, Berkeley
There is an Oxford in every town.
University life=ultimate frisbee @Memorial Glade
CAL classes taken outside at Memorial Glade during lovely October East Bay weather.
Sather Tower, known to most as the Campanile, is perhaps UC Berkeley’s most famous symbol. Visible for miles, it stands 307 feet tall and is the third tallest bell and clock-tower in the world. The observation platform, located 200 feet up, provides visitors with a spectacular view of the entire Bay Area and of the campus. It is reachable via the combination of an elevator and stairs. The Campanile was completed in 1914.
Dr. Bayu Wirayudha, founder and CEO of Friends of The National Parks Foundations speaks about his work in Indonesia at the Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) October meeting.
Meetings are held in various locations in the Bay Area with new speakers, snacks and refreshments! The public is encouraged to attend. www.tropicalforestnetwork.org
Two days later Bayu received the 2012 Rainforest Award in San Francisco for his “lifelong commitment to deep activism, species and forest conservation as well as groundbreaking community development projects”
The Award was given by the international conservation organization Rainforest Action Network (RAN).
The award was presented at RAN’s annual gala awards ceremony, REVEL: The Art of Activism, on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 in San Francisco.
As an honoree, Bayu joined a rich history of previous awardees that includes Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Maria Gunnoe, Vandana Shiva, Indigenous activists from around the world and many more. Each of these luminaries, have been leaders in protecting the worlds remaining rainforests, breaking North America’s addiction to fossil fuels, stemming the climate crisis and safeguarding human rights.
RAN stated that their organization has “been deeply impressed by your work as Founder and Director of Friends of the National Parks Foundation and believe that this is your time to receive our prestigious award.”
Bayu accepted the award with thanked his team in FNPF for their dedication, commitment and hard work, most especially Basuki Budi Santoso, FNPF’s manager in Kalimantan.
Read more about RAN and see photos / video of the event below.
REVEL: the Art of Activism – the award giving ceremony in San Francisco
And finally the weekend was wrapped up by the 2012 Bioneers Conference at the Marin Center in San Rafael October 19-21st. The acclaimed annual National Bioneers Conference is a pre-eminent leading-edge knowledge forum where brilliant social and scientific innovators illuminate breakthrough solutions for restoring people and planet. As a network of networks, Bioneers connects people with solutions and each other in an inspiring celebration of the applied genius of nature and human ingenuity.
I finished the weekend with a bang assisting my friend Matteo as a bartender at the Bioneers afterparty at Soltice Grove in West Marin. Definitely a couple weeks to remember and many new friends! I am happy and grateful to be welcomed into such an extraordinary community of environmentalists in the Bay Area.
Matthew (MATE-O) Sluder serving Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate and his own brand Lifted Spirits concoction cocktails.
Drink to your health!