Pedro Bara Neto

Brazilian-born Pedro Bara Neto has watched the changes that have taken place in the Amazon basin from both the perspective of the Brazilian Ministry of Planning, where he was senior officer for strategic investments, and from his current post in Washington, D.C. as Amazon policy director for the World Wildlife Fund. Among the forces he sees shaping the future of Amazonia are China’s appetite for soybeans; climate change; and energy projects that include oil and gas prospecting and a hydroelectric dam complex on Brazil’s Madeira River. Bara Neto urges alternative transportation and energy policies that emphasize conservation, efficiency and use of renewable sources, along with consensus-building based on a long-range ecological vision for the region. Any planning, he says, must involve local people and authorities, not just national government agencies. He is a civil engineer with a master’s degree in engineering management from Stanford University.