Germano Woehl Junior recebendo o Prêmio "Luc Hoffmann" do executivo suíço, André Hoffmann, filho de Luc Hoffmann, que estava representando o pai. Foto da IUCN
No dia 11 de setembro de 2012 fomos homenageados com o Prêmio Luc Hoffmann da IUCN, durante a realização do Congresso Mundial para a Conservação da Natureza, realizado na ilha província de Jeju, Coréia do Sul.
O prêmio é o reconhecimento do nosso esforço para salvar a Mata Atlântica, com a criação de RPPNs (Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural) em Itaiópolis (SC), que atualmente já protegem uma área de 860 hectares, boa parte preservadíssima, que abriga árvores centenárias e animais ameaçados de extinção e também nosso projeto de educação ambiental que já atendeu em trilhas interpretativas mais de 50 mil estudantes e 2.400 professores.
Eu, Germano Woehl Junior, recebi o prêmio do executivo suíço André Hoffmann, filho de Luc Hoffmann, que estava representando o pai. Confiram as imagens da cerimônia e o discurso que proferi (em inglês).
Speech at the Luc Hoffmann Award Ceremony during the World Conservation Congress, September 11, 2012, on the island of Jeju, South Korea
Discurso na cerimônia de entrega do prêmio Luc Hoffmann, 11/09/2012. Foto da IUCN
I am witness to one of the most horrific and tragic events in human history: I belong to the generation of human beings that caused the greatest destruction of tropical forests on record. I was born and lived until now in the Atlantic Rain Forest, one of the richest ecosystems in biodiversity in the world that is undergoing a rapid process of extinction. The most distressing thing was that I did not see this happen by comparing satellite images. I was there, watching it all happen and having the notion that it was wrong. In a few years I saw the forest that leaned in the backyard of my house disappears on the horizon very fast to be replaced by crops and pasture for livestock. I saw rare and shy animals suddenly appear in urban areas and easily killed with sticks and stones. Since I was a child I have known the reason why those animals sought shelter in places where certainly met their demise. With the loss of habitat they were disoriented starving and wandering in a strange world.
Desmatamento da Mata Atlântica uma grande área no entorno das áreas que lutamos para salvar, nas cabeceiras do rio Itajaí, em Itaiópolis (SC). A mata foi derrubada até em cima de uma caverna e nas margens do rio que forma uma cachoeira.
The pressure to destroy the Atlantic Rain Forest is very strong. The last remnants are wiped out. The largest Brazilian cities are in this ecosystem. Seventy percent of the population lives in this ecosystem. Nearly half the area destroyed in the last twenty-five years, about 18,000 km2, occurred in the states of Parana and Santa Catarina, where I was born and raised. Deforestation is stronger in this region because it is one that has the largest area of Atlantic Rain Forest in Brazil.
Pressão total: Destruição da Mata Atlântica no entorno das áreas que lutamos para salvar, nas cabeceiras do rio Itajaí, em Itaiópolis (SC)
In this scenario of devastation, I decided to do something to stop the destruction. Trying to save something for future generations. The dedication and effort of my wife, Elza Nishimura Woehl, has been crucial in this tough battle. Fourteen years ago we started an environmental education program in schools for students know the biodiversity and ecosystems of the place where they live with, thus stimulating their interest in nature conservation. We provided environmental awareness to more than 50,000 students and over 2400 teachers through Interpretive trails. We fight against deforestation and trafficking of wild animals that resulted in at least 400 infractors being fined and prosecuted for environmental crimes.
Projeto de Educação Ambiental com as escolas: Crianças tendo contato com a natureza e aprendendo sobre a biodiversidade da Mata Atlântica nas trilhas interpretativas
We pay a high price for daring to halt the destruction of Rainforest. It is too dangerous to protect the nature in Brazil. We only discovered this later. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about I’m going to tell the story of when I found out that. The first area of Atlantic Rain Forest we purchased, a small plot of land with two hectares, has been used for environmental education activities with schools through Interpretive trails in the forest and around dozens of ponds used by amphibians for breeding. To facilitate access to dozens of school buses, we put sign in a highway indicating the way to the Reserve. This road sign was placed in the only available space, next to another sign indicating a house of prostitution that is located near the Reserve. In Brazil, it is illegal to operate a house of prostitution as well as to destroy the Atlantic Rain Forest. Brazilian society abhors houses of prostitution because in that places are common practices of crimes, such as murders, child prostitution, trafficking, drug use etc. For this reason a French term is used as a cover to designate these places, but this does not work because it quickly turned into a synonym for house of prostitution. Our road sign indicating the way to the Reserve, where we run our environmental education project, was vandalized with bullets and stones just after it was installed, but the road sign next, indicating the way to the house of prostitution remains intact until now. We replaced the vandalized road sign three times before giving up.
Mata Atlântica preservada nas nascentes do rio Itajaí, em Itaiópolis (SC) que foi comprada com recursos próprios e ajuda de doadores e transformada em RPPN
We realize that the situation of the Atlantic Rain Forest is dramatic. It is seriously threatened. We feel that urgent actions are needed because every day the chain saws are coming closer to the last fragment of Atlantic Rain Forest which is full of life forms, housing many endangered species of plants and animals. It can house, for example, as many as 400 species of tree on a single hectare. So we decided to buy the preserved areas threatened using money from our savings. We started in 1994 purchasing a small plot of land with two hectares and after that purchasing bit by bit we have already gotten 860 hectares which has been transformed into Private Natural Heritage Reserve. The good news is that we got help from donors to purchase the latest area. We are very happy because the effort was worth. That area houses a fabulous biodiversity, with many endangered species of birds, mammals and trees. We have no idea how many species lives there because the biodiversity is very high. We just know that is needed to save it. The nature is very fragile. Right now, it needs desperately our help to be protected. We are trying very hard to do our part to ensure at least a bit of the Atlantic Rain Forest. We believe that there's still time to save many species.
The Luc Hoffmann Award is a great encouragement for us to continue our struggle for Nature Conservation.
Germano Woehl Junior
Detalhe da mata preservadíssima da área comprada e transformada em RPPN, que protege as nascentes do rio Itajai e uma rica biodiversidade, com espécies de plantas e animais raras e ameaçadas de extinção.
Germano Woehl Junior (segunda pessoa da esquerda para a direita) e demais homenageados e membros da IUCN na Cerimônia do dia 11/09/2012, durante o Congresso Mundial da Conservação da Natureza (World Conservation Congress), na ilha de Jeju, Coréia do Sul.Foto da IUCN