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Amazon Awards

President of the Federation of Industries of the State of Rondônia, he also presides over the Ação Pró-Amazônia, an association that brings together the nine federations of industries in the states of the Legal Amazon. CEO of Instituto Amazônia+21, aimed at promoting sustainable business in the Amazon.

Marcelo Thomé

Translated by Silvia Benchimol and Ewerton Branco (UFPA/ET-Multi)


Now, the world wakes up to the foundations underlying “Professor Samuel Benchimol” and “Banco da Amazônia de Empreendedorismo Consciente” Awards: the power of the Amazon nature. In the face of the climate crisis, the world is turning to where the great tropical forests are. The 27th United Nations Climate Conference, in Sharm El Sheikh, in Egypt, claimed Brazil to play a leading role. This is positive, but it will not be a reality, unless Amazon’s effective participation is included.

Historically banned from the national economy, the Amazon has the largest biodiversity in the world, strategic freshwater reserves and a remarkable capacity to store carbon. It is crystal clear that the Brazilian protagonism in the environmental issues and for a global economy with less carbon emission, as well as the country's own sustainable development, depends on the inclusion of the Amazon.

From a social and human perspective, Samuel Benchimol award combined examples of the entrepreneurial and academic capacity of the Amazonian people. On the other hand, Banco da Amazônia gave prestige the Amazon vocation for economic growth. By gathering the wards created in different circumstances, but commonly inspired, the Benchimol family and Basa highlighted the practice of cooperation at the highest level. In addition, they face the challenge of sustainability by seeking solutions, such as the 129 initiatives that applied for this 18th edition of the “Professor Samuel Benchimol and Banco da Amazônia de Empreendedorismo Consciente” Awards. Ten of them were winners, in 6 distinct award categories.

The award  entitled “Personality Dedicated to the Sustainable Development of the Amazon Region” was won by Adélio Barofaldi, from Porto Velho. “Enterprise in the Amazon” award was won by Hidrelética de Santo Antônio. The category “Microbusiness in the Amazon, Urban”, was won by Cristiane Melo Lima’s Ebenezer Cosméticos; and the same ward for “Rural” context was won by Roseni Machado’s Sítio Deus Proverá. The first categories mentioned praise socio-environmental commitments and good governance, while the latter two highlight innovation and sustainable solutions. The “Sustainable Development in the Amazon Region" category was won by three initiatives: “Extraction and processing of Amazon oils and butters to strengthen the network in the Acará community”, by Gilberto Hirokazu Nobumasa (Belém); “Alternatives for controlling black sigatoka on banana trees in the Amazon”, by Luadir Gasparotto and Mirza Carla Normando Pereira (Manaus); and “Biofemme of the Amazon, a sustainable sanitary pad affordable to women in vulnerability", by Claudia Guerra Monteiro (Manaus).

For the “Local Development Initiative" category, there were also three winners: “Cultivation of algae in the Amazon as a guarantee of a protein source in the future”, by Renilto Frota Correa and Jaqueline de Araújo Bezerra (Manaus); “Seeding of edible forests with remotely piloted aircraft in degraded areas”, by Renilto Frota Correa, Jaqueline de Araújo Bezerra, Walter Andrés Vermehren Valenzuela and Valdely Ferreira Kinupp (Manaus); and “Community-based tourism with sustainable use of space and maintenance of traditions in Raposa” (Roraima), by Enoque Raposo and Éder Rodrigues dos Santos (Boa Vista).

The descriptors of the initiatives highlighted by the Amazon Awards indicate possibilities that can, in fact, be considered an invitation to partnerships with companies, institutions and communities that – besides the particularity of the conserved biome – offer the human contribution of more than 30 million Amazonian people to foment the Brazilian protagonism in the challenge of a sustainable world.