José Lutzenberger
( 1988 , Brésil )

...for his contribution to protecting the natural environment in Brazil and worldwide.

A healthy civilisation can only be one that harmonises with and integrates into the totality of life, enhancing not demolishing it.


José Lutzenberger, born in 1926, was a Brazilian agronomist who worked for 15 years with a multinational chemical corporation, but left in 1970 to start a vigorous and successful campaign against pesticides and for organic farming. What followed was great progress in Brazil among farmers large and small concerning organic crop management; increasing numbers of them began to use less poisons and turned to more regenerative methods of production. Lutzenberger’s work in this field made him an acknowledged expert on soil science and organic fertilisers as well as plant health. Agriculture, however, was only one of his concerns: he is also widely known in Brazil as the father of the environmental movement.

Contact

Fundaão Gaia
Rua Jacintho Gomes 39
90040 270 Porto Alegre
BRAZIL

http://www.fgaia.org.br/

Biography

As an agronomist, interested in healthy, clean, sustainable agriculture, Lutzenberger went into sanitary engineering. He also got involved in recycling, being conscious that hundreds of millions of hectares of good agricultural land were being degraded by the destruction of humus and soil life, while on the other hand, in industry, hundreds of millions of tons of precious organic wastes were being destroyed by dumping, contamination or burning. He developed simple, alternative methods for re-use – either as fodder or fertiliser – of the wastes of many industries such as pulp mills, tanneries, slaughterhouses and food processing plants. He also worked in landscaping and gardening.

Lutzenberger’s activities in Brazil were combined with a gruelling international speaking schedule that took him regularly to many countries on all continents.

From 1990 to ’92 he was Special Secretary for the Environment to the President of Brazil. In this post he was instrumental in the demarcation of Indian territories, especially the land of the Yanomamis, as well as in the decision to abandon the atom bomb and in Brazil’s signing of the Antarctic Treaty and the Whale Convention. One of Lutzenberger’s main concerns was the preservation of the tropical rainforest of Amazonia as well as other important elements of the biosphere.

In 1995 he received an honorary doctorate from BOKU (Universität für Bodenkultur) at the University of Vienna, …

As an agronomist, interested in healthy, clean, sustainable agriculture, Lutzenberger went into sanitary engineering. He also got involved in recycling, being conscious that hundreds of millions of hectares of good agricultural land were being degraded by the destruction of humus and soil life, while on the other hand, in industry, hundreds of millions of tons of precious organic wastes were being destroyed by dumping, contamination or burning. He developed simple, alternative methods for re-use – either as fodder or fertiliser – of the wastes of many industries such as pulp mills, tanneries, slaughterhouses and food processing plants. He also worked in landscaping and gardening.

Lutzenberger’s activities in Brazil were combined with a gruelling international speaking schedule that took him regularly to many countries on all continents.

From 1990 to ’92 he was Special Secretary for the Environment to the President of Brazil. In this post he was instrumental in the demarcation of Indian territories, especially the land of the Yanomamis, as well as in the decision to abandon the atom bomb and in Brazil’s signing of the Antarctic Treaty and the Whale Convention. One of Lutzenberger’s main concerns was the preservation of the tropical rainforest of Amazonia as well as other important elements of the biosphere.

In 1995 he received an honorary doctorate from BOKU (Universität für Bodenkultur) at the University of Vienna, Austria, for his scientific work and his cooperation with Austrian farmers.

In all his areas of work Lutzenberger promoted a holistic thinking in science and technology, as well as a new holistic ethics.

Lutzenberger passed away in 2002 at the age of 75.

 
 

FAQ about José Lutzenberger

asked in 2005
answered by his daughter, Mrs Lara Lutzenberger

1. Mrs. Lutzenberger, what do you regard as your father?s most important legacy? 

To me, my father’s most important contribution was to raise environmental awareness in society through his holistic approach and his pioneering work in promoting organic agriculture but also recycling industrial waste.

2. How do you continue his work?

I do continue his work by keeping up with the awareness raising through Fundacao Gaia and at his company Vida Produtos e Servicos, which is working with an increasing number of pulp mill industries and finding creative solutions for the recycling of their different waste types.

3. Tell us about your links and joint work with other award recipients. 

Together with Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Vandana Shiva (India), Martin von Hildebrand (Colombia) and a big group of partners from different parts of the world, we have created the ECN – Earth Community Network.
At ECN we are linking up Learning Centers in which people can experience the meaning and practice of a sustainable future, based upon systems of governance that respect the laws of the Earth and that reconnect humanity to their deepest nature.

4. What effect has the RLA had on your work?

Basically in recognizing its importance internationally and giving it a greater publicity.