Luís Fernando Guedes Pinto
Agronomist. Ph.D. in Crop Sciences. Knowledge Director, SOS Mata Atlantica. Leading environmental policy advocate. Creator of the first unified agriculture certification system in Brazil. Executive Director, Imaflora (2005 -2010).
With more than two decades of experience in studies, dialogues, and solutions for development, sustainable agriculture, and forest conservation, Luis Fernando is a leading agronomist and environmental policy advocate. He recently took on a new position as Knowledge Director at SOS Mata Atlantica after more than 20 years at Imaflora, where he acted as Executive Director from 2005 to 2010. There, he was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Sustainable Agriculture Network certification in Brazil and influencing public and private environmental policies.
Luis Fernando’s work focuses on creating market-based incentives for farmers to not engage in destructive farming practices, encouraging instead behavior that is compatible with sustainable development and with the wider aim of countering deforestation.
Under the leadership of Luis Fernando, Imaflora reached more than 300 forest and agriculture operations certified in Brazil and Argentina, contributing to improving production practices in more than 3 million hectares, conserving 2 million hectares of tropical forests, guaranteeing human and labor rights, and improving livelihoods for more than 30,000 people.
The organization has become a leading NGO influencing forest management in Brazil and plays a crucial role in the areas of agriculture, land use, and climate change. Imaflora has been integral to the creation and consolidation of more than 10 million hectares of protected areas of the Amazon as well as influencing national and international policies relevant to the decreasing of deforestation and improving governance in forest and agriculture/cattle production, including REDD.
In 2015 Luis Fernando became the Manager of Agriculture, leading the new Research area of Imaflora with the aim to build knowledge and influence public and private policies. He has developed projects about sustainable agriculture and forestry in partnership with research and other organizations such as the University of São Paulo, Unicamp, SEBRAE, Rabobank, CCAFS, University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford.
He has also been responsible for maintaining and establishing new partnerships with organizations such as Rainforest Alliance, Greenpeace, IMAZON, ISA, Observatório Social da CUT, IDEC, and academic entities as well as with donors such as Ford, Packard, and Overbrook Foundations, GIZ, Oxfam Novib, USAID, and the European Commission.
Luis Fernando’s strategy is to include everyone involved, believing that work shared with all the stakeholders produces the best results. His approach takes him from interactions with the federal government to indigenous communities, from the soy producer to environmental leaders, employing both technical expertise and respecting traditional knowledge.
He is the author of several publications about sustainable agriculture and land use. He is a professor at the Ipê Superior School of Conservation Sustainability and was a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford. He is a member of the Folha de Empreendedores Social Network and is a senior fellow of Ashoka.