A Brazilian activist and rubber tapper, Chico Mendes led the campaign for "extractive reserves" in the country's tropical rainforests. These reserves are used by rubber tappers and peasants to exploit the forests sustainability.
He was assassinated by farmers in December 1988, in Acre, Western Amazon.
Gert Roland Fischer
A Brazilian ecologist who has since 1976 promoted environmental awareness and sustainable development through books, newsletters, and numerous radio and TV interviews.
Mr. Fischer works around environmental management issues, envolving clime changes, as well as with grassroots movements (including farmers' unions), government departments and industry.
He is coordinator of the pesticides action network for Brazil and south cone. He is chairman of the Eurowaste Consult and consulting office to industrial hazardous waste treatment and soil cleaning.
Ms. Margaret Mee, who died in 1988, made unique paintings of Brazilian flora during 15 plant-hunting expeditions over 30 years. They form a unique record of many plant species threatened with extinction as the Amazonian forests disappear.
She is credited with the discovery of eight new plant species.
Carlos Minc Baumfeld
Professor Minc Baumfeld has used his position as a legislator in the state of Rio de Janeiro to organise environmental protection campaigns.
Through his efforts some natural areas are protected in the state, including the Illia Grande Island, the last coastal reserve in the state. He has written several books on environment and ecology.
Mary Zanoni Allegretti
Since 1980 Ms. Allegretti has worked with Brazil's National Council of Rubber Tappers, led by the late Francisco Mendes Filho, for the preservation of the Amazonian forests and the organization of its peoples to seek their rights.
A doctor and ecologist, Mr. Fonseca has used his own funds for numerous efforts in reafforestation and environmental conservation in Brazil. For 19 years he has been working in defense of the jungle ecology of the Mucuri and Jequitinhonha areas.
Since 1975, he has maintained a forest nursery with the aim of preserving the flora and fauna of the Atlantic Coast Jungle.
Roberto M. Klein
Professor Klein, a biologist, has written more than 100 publications in Portuguese, German, Spanish and English on environmental issues. He is an influential adviser on reafforestation.
Chief Paiakan of the Kayapo tribe of Brazil has long campaigned against the hydro-electric dams, which threaten to destroy parts of the Amazonian rainforest.
He has been making it clear to bankers and politicians that his people are dependent on the rainforest for survival and that the dams can cause pollution and deforestation.
For half a century, Father Reitz has worked for the preservation of the environment in Brazil. Mainly thanks to his efforts, 750 hectares of Botanical Park was established in 1961 in Santa Catarina.
He was instrumental in the creation of the ecological stations of Taimbes, Carijos and Babitonga, between 1976 and 1986. He initiated protection of endangered fauna covering 40 species of animals. Beginning with 51 animals, his project now helps more than 1,000 people.
An accomplished researcher, Reitz has discovered five new genera and 327 new species of plants in Brazil and he has written extensively on botany and ecology.
Davi Kopenawa Yanomami
The tribal leader of the 9,000-strong Yanomami community in Roraima, northern Brazil. He has campaigned for 10 years for legislative protection of Yanomami territory - an area of nine million hectares of tropical forests, lakes and mountains. This area is not only an important cultural heritage, but one of the world's largest "banks" of genetic diversity.