Mariana Monteiro

Brazil

Marianna is a skilled lawyer dedicated to social and environmental justice related issues. For the past six years, has been doing outstanding work for the Forum Suape Social and Environmental Space in Brazil, which aims to safeguard the rights of traditional communities affected by large infrastructure developments and rapid transformations due to developments in the Industrial and Port Complex of Suape (CIPS). During her time there she has demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and compassion, dealing with challenging situations with level-headedness and great skill, even situations of significant power imbalances and violence.

One of her major achievements in this capacity was a victorious legal action over CIPS in which it was forced to take responsibility for social and environmental impacts from its dredging activities in the harbor. In this case, she worked closely with local fishermen and converting their complaints into a powerful legal argument, while also working with other key actors and allies to add weight to their case. Recently, her efforts and skill have been formally recognized with her promotion to key executive position of ‘Project Coordinator for Institutional Development’ in the organization.

With this grant, she hopes to develop her skills and knowledge in order to reinforce her in her new position. Through a course on ‘Environmental, Agrarian and Urban Law’ and a ‘Human Rights and Environment Clinic’ she hopes to develop her legal understanding of these issues. She will also develop her technical understanding of the environmental and ecological dynamics of coastal wetlands and mangrove conservation by attending the ‘Laboratory of Mangrove Bioecology’ at the Institute of Oceanography of the University of São Paulo (USP). This will enable her to comprehend the complex issues that local coastal communities face and enable her to develop more effective legal argumentations. Finally, she intends to organize exchange visits with other relevant organisations and conduct field visits with affected communities in order deepen her connection to their issues and enable her to design more effective participatory strategies.

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