We are pleased to welcome the new YPARD Brazil Country Representative, Heitor Dellasta.
Heitor Dellasta is a professional in the field of Ecological Economics. He holds a bachelor in Economy from the Institute of Economics of the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), where he developed scientific initiation projects concerning development and environment. Currently he is a Climate Conservation and Finance Analyst at SITAWI Finance For Good and is pursuing a master's degree in Scientific and Technological Policy at UNICAMP, developing research and programs in Resilience and Ecosystem Economics with a focus on Valuing Ecosystem Services.
He has been working in the socio-environmental area for five years, with experience in projects involving agroforestry systems, recovery of degraded areas and financial mechanisms for biodiversity conservation and facing climate challenges. Interest in the areas of Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics and Political Ecology with emphasis on the themes of valorization, resilience, socio-ecological systems, agroforestry systems and biodiversity.
During his bachelor studies Heitor started building an interest on the relations between economics and ecology, and later on he started focusing on the study of alternative economies, based on the connection between scientific and traditional knowledge to build harmonious organizations between society and nature. Currently, in his master's degree, his research aims to assess the perception of multiple actors on socio-ecological resilience in agricultural production, with agroforestry systems in the Atlantic Forest, focusing on Ecosystem Services valuation.
Heitor started his fieldwork with Novo Mundo de Yacarantã in 2017. This organization offers the opportunity to get involved in different production experiences with agroforestry systems, based on syntropic agriculture that focuses on ensuring the increase of local biodiversity, while generating ecosystem restoration and food production.
Between 2019-2021, Heitor and the team at Yacarantã carried out a participatory process of implementing agroforestry systems in a rural community of 200 people in Brazil. This project took place in partnership with the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) of Brazil and the support of international donors. The project addressed different aspects concerning the community and agriculture, mainly the non-formal education on agroecology, regenerative agriculture and solidarity economy, participatory implementation of production sites with agroforestry systems and economic-ecological monitoring and governance of the process. A group of women who called themselves "Daisies Flowers" led the collective. This work was awarded in the competition "Renewal ideas: planting water and harvesting food", organized by WWF and ICRAF Brazil. You can see their mini-documentary here.
Currently in his work as a Conservation and Climate Finance Analyst at the Brazilian institution SITAWI Finance For Good, Heitor has expanded his agenda of contacts and opportunities for the development of territorial programs, including agendas focused on projects with agroecology, agroforestry systems and other sustainable uses and management of soil and biodiversity. For example, focusing on areas of integral protection and sustainable use, socio-biodiversity chains, polycentric management and valuation of ecosystem services.
Heitor states that both his formal studies and fieldwork experiences made him aware of the contemporary socio-ecological issues, and helped him establish a three-step approach to agricultural development: First, have scientific knowledge about the impacts of the economic system on nature and local communities. Second, recognize the dynamics of sustainable land, water, forest and community management. Third, understand that decision-making needs to take place from the communities themselves, from their own demands and based on their own traditional knowledge and governance systems.