WE ARE

WE ARE

CONSERVATION, RESTORATION, COMMUNITY…

Amigos de Iracambi

Working with community leaders to make the conservation of the forest more attractive than its destruction.

Amigos de Iracambi is a Brazilian registered non-profit (also registered in the US as a 501c3) located in one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Our objective is to figure out better ways of forest care and protect our extraordinary biodiversity while generating forest-based incomes and raising living standards for local communities. Our base is the Iracambi Research Center, located in a protected area which includes old growth and succession forest, swamps and partially cleared land.

Iracambi is a member of the Organization of Tropical Studies and the Organization of Biological Field Stations. Iracambi’s many partners include universities and training colleges in the US and Brazil, national and international foundations and companies, friends and advisers around the world, local, regional and state authorities in Minas Gerais, environmental NGOs, community based tourism groups, chambers of commerce, rural workers unions and farmers associations.

Facilities at the Center include accommodation for 28 researchers, volunteers and visitors, computer lab/classroom, field laboratory, our multi-use Forest House, restaurant, forest nursery, system of forest trails and a GIS. We also own the Pico da Graminha Forest Reserve, approximately three km from the Center, where we our Mountain House serves as a base for our research into sustainable production of honey and açai, as well as providing hammock space for researchers and visitors.

The Iracambi Team

Robin Le Breton

Research Director, Public Policy Advisor

Robin directs and advises researchers and interns, is an expert on public policy and land conservation issues, is active in environmental affairs at local, regional and state level, and also oversees a forest farm. Fluent in four languages, Robin brings a depth of international experience to developing practical and sustainable solutions to the challenges of conservation and development in one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots. These challenges vary from meeting with the state governor to discuss environmental policy, to fixing a series of balky cars and computers and whatever else it takes to keep the show on the road.

Binka Le Breton

NGO President, Director, Iracambi Research Center, Writer and Lecturer

President of the NGO, Binka co-directs the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, lectures and broadcasts internationally on rainforest and human rights topics, is guest educator on Peace Boat and international board member of Partners of the Americas. Fluent in five languages, she is currently tackling Japanese as her sixth. She also researches and writes on environmental and human rights and has published six books in several languages. If you want to know more about her work, or invite her to speak, please contact her.

Guilherme Valvasori

Coordinator Forests 4 Water project

Although Guilherme (known as Gui) is a native of São Paulo state, (where he got his degree in communications,) he has become an enthusiastic adoptive mineiro – inhabitant of the state of Minas Gerais. Gui coordinates our Forests 4 Water program of environmental education, traveling to distant mountain farms to encourage farm families to enlist in our program of reforestation with native species, designed to protect and restore water sources. Fluent in English, Gui is a mainstay at the Research Center and is also pursuing his masters degree at the State University of Northern Rio de Janeiro.

Leandro Santana

Academic Coordinator: Iracambi Strong exchange program

Leandro holds a master’s degree from the University of Vicosa, is a prize-winning film maker and a respected primatologist who specializes in the highly endangered muriqui monkey. Passionate conservationists, Leandro and his wife are building their own house in the mountains near Iracambi and working on creating a sustainable lifestyle based on forest products. Leandro coordinates our student exchange program IracambiStrong where Brazilian and International students work together on sustainability, in and around the Iracambi campus.

Arielle Canedo

Business Manager

Arielle has recently joined the Iracambi team where she works with administration and accounting, as well as co directing the Young Eco Leaders Program, and carrying out community outreach to build stronger connections between Iracambi and the surrounding communities.

Luiz Janunzi

IT manager, Environmental Monitoring Coordinator

Luiz has recently joined the team where he is in charge of keeping the computer network up and running, overseeing the environmental monitoring, driving the Kombi as required, using his graphic design skills and also co-directing the Young Eco Leaders.

Alessandro Freitas

Medicinal Plants Project Coordinator

Alessandro has a bachelor’s degree from Faculdade de São Bento do Rio de Janeiro in Philosophy, but he is also a Holistic Therapist. Besides coordinating the Medicinal Plants Project Alessandro is in charge of the Ecotourism Project and in teaching Portuguese for foreigner volunteers as well.

Fagner Santos

Forest Nursery

Fagner oversee our forest nursery all the way from collecting and preparing the seeds from healthy forest trees to making and caring for the seedlings, planning the program of reforestation, and ensuring that the seedlings are cared for after they have been planted out. He then coordinate with Guilherme on our reforestry project Forests 4 Water.

Rosie Gerolemou

Ecosystems Monitoring Program Coordinator

Rosie joins us from the UK to coordinate the Ecosystems Monitoring project, which involves analysing biodiversity in recently reforested plots. She is also currently writing up her Master’s degree in detecting invasive plant species.

Virgílio Dornelas

Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator

Directors of Amigos de Iracambi BR

  • President: Binka Le Breton, Writer and Lecturer
  • Vice President: Jorge Henrique Lopes Resende, lawyer, conservationist
  • First Secretary: Luiza Vieira, forester, Candidate for MS degree
  • Second Secretary: Sérgio da Silva Matos, biologist, teacher
  • Treasurer: Fabiola Freitas, accountant

Directors of Amigos de Iracambi US

  • President: Shane Robinson – Congressman, State of Maryland
  • Vice President: Mary King Robinson – Businesswoman
  • Secretary Treasurer: Betty Brown – Retired

The NGO also has the support of an Advisory Council (which includes a Scientific Committee and an Audit Committee) and a Research Center Administrative Committee.

Advisory Board

  • Clayton Nix: Attorney at law
  • Diane Osgood: Virgin United
  • Naomi Moniz: MIT
  • Jim Harrison: Consultant
  • Manuela Rayner: Conservation International
  • Stahis Panagides: Consultant
  • Dale Beckmann: Consultant
  • Heather Williams: Pomona College
  • Suzanne Hinton: Emerson College

Development Committee

  • Craig Bida: Coneinc
  • Mark Wade: Consultant
  • Abhijeet Saran: Google technician
  • Paulo Pisano:  Pearson Inc
  • Samuel O’Connor: businessman
  • Emma McGuigan, Accenture
  • Philippa White: The International Exchange
  • Stuart Greenbaum: HP
  • Juliana Spina: Mcgarry Bowen
  • Carmen Brizida: Carat

Robin Le Breton

Research Director, Public Policy Advisor

Robin Le Breton, MSc Environmental Management,  University of London, MS Agricultural Economics, Iowa State University,  MA Law, Oxford University, Certificat dÉtudes Francaises, University of Lausanne.
Download Robin’s CV Robin directs and advises researchers and interns, is an expert on public policy and land conservation issues, is active in environmental affairs at local, regional and state level, and also oversees a forest farm. Fluent in four languages, Robin brings a depth of international experience to developing practical and sustainable solutions to the challenges of conservation and development in one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots. These challenges vary from meeting with the state governor to discuss environmental policy, to fixing a series of balky cars and computers and whatever else it takes to keep the show on the road.

Binka Le Breton

NGO President, Director, Iracambi Research Center, Writer and Lecturer

Download Binka’s CV

President of the NGO, Binka co-directs the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center, lectures and broadcasts internationally on rainforest and human rights topics, is guest educator on Peace Boat and international board member of Partners of the Americas. Fluent in five languages, she is currently tackling Japanese as her sixth. She also researches and writes on environmental and human rights and has published six books in several languages. If you want to know more about her work, or invite her to speak, please contact her at: binka@iracambi.com

Guilherme Valvasori

Coordinator Forests4Water program

Although Guilherme (known as Gui) is a native of São Paulo state, (where he got his degree in communications,) he has become an enthusiastic adoptive mineiro – inhabitant of the state of Minas Gerais. Gui coordinates our Forests4Water program of environmental education, traveling to distant mountain farms to encourage farm families to enlist in our program of reforestation with native species, designed to protect and restore water sources. Fluent in English, Gui is a mainstay at the Research Center and is also pursuing his masters degree at the State University of Northern Rio de Janeiro.

Leandro Santana

Academic Coordinator: Iracambi Strong exchange program

Leandro holds a master’s degree from the University of Vicosa, is a prize-winning film maker and a respected primatologist who specializes in the highly endangered muriqui monkey. Passionate conservationists, Leandro and his wife are building their own house in the mountains near Iracambi and working on creating a sustainable lifestyle based on forest products. Leandro coordinates our student exchange program IracambiStrong where Brazilian and International students work together on sustainability, in and around the Iracambi campus.

Arielle Canedo

Business Manager

Arielle has recently joined the Iracambi team where she works with administration and accounting, as well as co directing the Young Eco Leaders Program, and carrying out community outreach to build stronger connections between Iracambi and the surrounding communities.

Luiz Janunzi

IT manager, Environmental Monitoring Coordinator

 Luiz has recently joined the team where he is in charge of keeping the computer network up and running, overseeing the environmental monitoring, driving the Kombi as required, using his graphic design skills and also co-directing the Young Eco Leaders

Lily Vail

Volunteer Coordinator

Lily joins the team from New York State and has the important job of ensuring the health, happiness and safety of all our students and volunteers, as well as coordinating with them before, during and after their arrival.

Toni and Fagner

Forest Nursery Team

Our talented nursery team of Toni and Fagner oversee our forest nursery all the way from collecting and preparing the seeds from healthy forest trees to making and caring for the seedlings, planning the program of reforestation, and ensuring that the seedlings are cared for after they have been planted out. They then coordinate with Guilherme on our reforestry program Forests4Water.

Carmnha and Clovis

Restaurant Managers

Carminha and her husband Clovis are the most important people on the Iracambi campus. As the sound of Carminha beating the cook pot echoes around the Research Center, hungry students converge expecttantly on the dining hall. There’s something about life at Iracambi that gives us all a good appetite, and many a close friendship has been formed over one of Carminha’s delicious meals or sitting round the bonfire nursing a cup of steaming hot chocolate reinforced with brandy.

[team_ member members_name=”Carminha and Clóvis” members_title=”Restaurant Managers” image_path=”https://en.iracambi.com/wp-content/uploads/Carminha.jpg” link_to_page=”https://en.iracambi.com/carminha”] Carminha and her husband Clóvis are the most important people on the Iracambi campus. As the sound of Carminha beating the cook pot echoes around the Research Center hungry students converge expectantly on the dining hall. There’s something about life at Iracambi that gives us all a good appetite, and many a close friendship has been formed over one of Carminha’s delicious meals or sitting round the bonfire nursing a cup of steaming hot chocolate reinforced with brandy.[/team_member]

NGO Directors

  • President: Binka Le Breton, Writer and Lecturer
  • Vice President: Jorge Henrique Lopes Resende, lawyer, conservationist
  • First Secretary: Luiza Vieira, forester, Candidate for MS degree
  • Second Secretary: Sérgio da Silva Matos, biologist, teacher
  • Treasurer: Fabiola Freitas, accountant

The NGO also has the support of an Advisory Council (which includes a Scientific Committee and an Audit Committee,) and a Research Center Administrative Committee.
[/one_half]

Directors of Amigos de Iracambi US Inc

  • President: Shane Robinson – Congressman, State of Maryland
  • Vice President: Mary King Robinson – Businesswoman
  • Secretary Treasurer: Betty Brown – Retired

Iracambi is a member of the Organization of Tropical Studies and the Organization of Biological Field Stations. Iracambi’s many partners include universities and training colleges in the US and Brazil, national and international foundations and companies, friends and advisers around the world, local, regional and state authorities in Minas Gerais, environmental NGOs, community based tourism groups, chambers of commerce, rural workers unions and farmers associations.


Advisory Board

  • Clayton Nix: Attorney at law
  • Diane Osgood: Virgin United
  • Naomi Moniz: MIT
  • Jim Harrison: Consultant
  • Manuela Rayner: Conservation International
  • Stahis Panagides: Consultant
  • Dale Beckmann: Consultant
  • Heather Williams: Pomona College
  • Suzanne Hinton: Emerson College

Development Committee

  • Craig Bida: Coneinc
  • Mark Wade: Consultant
  • Abhijeet Saran: Google technician
  • Paulo Pisano:  Pearson Inc
  • Samuel O’Connor: businessman
  • Emma McGuigan, Accenture
  • Philippa White: The International Exchange
  • Stuart Greenbaum: HP
  • Juliana Spina: Mcgarry Bowen
  • Carmen Brizida: Carat


Technical support

  • Tim Masson: Webmaster and IT expert (Zimbabwe)