Laury Cullen

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Laury Cullen has worked with the Brazilian environmental organisation Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas "for over a decade, and is now its Research Coordinator. A Masters graduate of the Tropical Conservation and Development Programme, University of Florida, he passionately believes that the best way to protect species in nature is to approach the task at landscape level. Such an approach combines scientific study and biodiversity management with human activities.

"To conserve this ecosystem, Laury has determined that there needs to be a halt to deforestation, the impact of human activity on the forest edge must be reduced, and the genetic exchange between surviving fragments needs to be possible to ensure the survival of endemic species. These outcomes can only be achieved by working with the local communities, which in the case of Pontal de Paranapanema, includes mainly new settlers.

"Laury has forged a strong alliance with the Sem Terra settlers movement, and its local Director has developed a great enthusiasm for jaguar conservation, often assisting Laury in the field. Settlers are learning that they are key to halting the deforestation of the Atlantic Forest are learning to recognise the value in facilitating the long term stewardship of their new lands. They are now working with Laury to plant endemic and economically useful trees across their properties, particularly on the forest edge and between fragments. By developing buffer zones consisting of agroforestry parcels around primary forest, they are helping to ease conflicts with wildlife and reduce forest-edge erosion." [1]

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  1. Laury Cullen, Whitley Award, accessed May 1, 2009.