Vilmar S. Demamam Berna
Prêmio Global 500 da ONU Para o Meio Ambiente - 1999
Fundador da REBIA - Rede Brasileira de Informação Ambiental, da Revista do Meio Ambiente e do www.portaldomeioambiente.org.br.
Vilmar Berna, journalist and author, has greatly contributed to raising environmental awareness in Brazil. In 1982, he founded Univerde - an NGO based in Sao Gancalo, Rio de Janeiro State.
His achievements include the implementation of the Forest Brigade, which until his involvement existed only on paper. His participation in the struggle to remove a dumping site in Sao Goncalo, within a protected area was decisive. The dumping of waste threatened the mangrove and thanks to his efforts this activity was stopped.
In 1988, Berna helped found and became President of the NGO Defensores da Terra (Earth Defenders). Through this organization, he succeeded in: preserving 3,000 hectares of Atlantic Forest, creating the Serra da Tiririca State Park; passing the Bill that regulates motor saws as guns and enacting a law that guarantees the right of 15,000 native people to live in Conservation units in Rio de Janeiro, thus helping to preserve their ecosystem.
Vilmar has also succeeded in addressing the need for regular and accessible information on environmental policies and actions by founding, in January 1996, the Jornol do Meio Ambiente - a monthly bulletin which is now considered basic reference for environmental issues in the country. He has also played a key role in environmental education for young people by writing several books on the environment. His publications include 10 titles with 500,000 copies sold in schools in Brazil and throughout Latin America.