Charlotte di Vita's fundraising career took off in 1990, directly
after she organised The First Anglo-Brazilian Conference of
the Environment that was patroned by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Charlotte secured a donation of $1,250,000 from the British
private sector for Pro-Natura, a Brazilian-based Rainforest
Preservation non-profit organisation.
This donation enabled Pro-Natura to
initiate a project in Juruena, an area of Amazonian rainforest
extremely vulnerable to logging and other unsustainable agricultural
practices that rapidly damage the rainforest. The project
examines extractivist reserve techniques, agricultural improvement
schemes and land revitalisation techniques for communities
settled on the margins of the rainforest in Mato Grosso. The
project has created alternatives to logging and agriculturally
degrading land practices in order to halt further encroachment
into virgin forest by Juruena's farmers.
This expertise is now being extended
to six other municipalities, covering an area of over 10 million
hectares of rainforest - an area larger than the British Isles.
In Juruena, Pro-Natura established
a Research Centre for Agroforestry, testing rotational land
use models that could overcome the slash and burn degradation
cycle that has become common place in the Amazon as a whole.
Charlotte's experiences with this project
led her to understand the need to create sustainable markets
for ethical trade and so sowed the seed from which Trade plus
For more information on Pro-Natura