9 September 2015. By Anne Petermann
This morning my blog post is dedicated to Ricardo Carrere, former Coordinator of the World Rainforest Movement, who passed away in 2011. I met Ricardo here in Durban at the founding of the Durban Group for Climate Justice, which produced The Durban Declaration on carbon trading. The last time I saw Ricardo was in Buenos Aires during the last World Forestry Congress in 2009. Ricardo did not attend this conference, as he avoided all such pointless and frustrating events, but I did (though I swore I never would again!). Ricardo told me that he very much enjoyed my pointed and bitingly sarcastic blog posts which I wrote from inside the belly of that particular beast. In my next post today, I reprint my final concluding blog from the Buenos Aires World Forestry Congress, both as an homage to Ricardo and as a reminder of what these events are really all about.
But this post is dedicated just to Ricardo, a trained Forest Engineer, who was devoted to ending the scourge of industrial timber plantations. From his colleagues at World Rainforest Movement:
Ricardo had clarity, conviction and love for what he did, his wholehearted commitment to social and environmental justice, seasoned with a unique sense of humour, optimism and zest for life.
He was the coordinator of the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) from 1996 until December 2010, when he retired. Throughout all those years, he played a fundamental role in building the organization and forging its network of contacts and partnerships based on shared trust and a clear definition of its ultimate goal, to defend the forest and provide support for the local struggles of communities and peoples for their rights and their ways of life.
Ricardo liked to listen to what the people of these communities had to say about their lives and their struggles, which is why he considered himself to be, as he put it, “more than a coordinator of anything, a learner of everything.” He reflected a great deal on everything he heard, during his morning ritual of drinking mate, in silence, during his many travels, and at home, in his garden full of native trees and plants, which he created and nurtured with enormous dedication and love.
Like few others, Ricardo was able to pass on what he learned to a great many people: to those of us who had the tremendous privilege of working directly with him, to others who met and worked and lived with him at different times in his life, and to people from organizations, networks and movements in many different countries.
La Lucha Sigue.
We miss you Ricardo.