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Ford Foundation Working with Visionaries on the Frontlines of Social Change Worldwide
Sustainable Development

Expanding Community Rights Over Natural Resources

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Aurélio Vianna Jr.

Senior Program Officer Rio de Janeiro

Aurélio Vianna Jr. works on environment and development issues in the foundation's Rio de Janeiro office. His grant making supports the efforts of traditional peoples—including rubber tappers, peasants, indigenous peoples and rural Afro-descendants—to gain access to land, bolster the sustainable use of their natural resources, and participate in the policy-making process for land-use planning and development in the Brazilian Amazon region.

Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2004, he worked on social, economic and environmental issues in a variety of capacities, doing research, project management and political activism.

Over the past 25 years, he has served on the boards of numerous Brazilian nongovernmental organizations and as coordinator of the Brazil Network on Multilateral Financial Institutions, the Institute for Socio-economic Studies and the Amazon Studies Institute. In 2003, he was appointed director of Brazil's two major socio-environmental programs: the Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rain Forest and the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program.

Aurélio has written numerous articles on peasants and politics in Brazil; the environment and the socio-environmental effects of projects and policies financed by international institutions; and social movements and the environment. He holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology from the National Museum (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).

Issues and Initiatives

Aurélio Vianna Jr. is a member of the following initiative teams:

Issue Initiative
Human Rights
Sustainable Development


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