In September of 2014, just before thousands of politicians and climate activists flooded the streets of New York for the United Nations Climate Summit, four indigenous leaders were shot to death by illegal loggers in the Ucayali region of Peru’s Amazon Rainforest.
Indigenous partners in Peru contacted Burness via Facebook to help spread the word about this tragedy, the latest in a string of attacks on environmental defenders in tropical forest regions.
Work with the International Livestock Research Institute
In the pastoral societies of East Africa, life for millions of people revolves around livestock. And when harsh weather arrives and animals perish, lives are ruined. Yet providing insurance against livestock loss in the region faces multiple challenges.
Work with the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
As we face global threats to our environment—from the loss of biodiversity, to climate change, to increasing water scarcity—much of the public dialogue around our environment is driven by politics and hyperbole. Too often the science that should … Continue reading Elevating World-Class Environmental Science→
Work with the World Resources Institute and the Rights and Resources Initiative
The world's forests are being destroyed at a rate of 50 soccer fields every minute, accounting for 11 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. A solution exists that is both cost-effective and available: deforestation rates are dramatically lower in forests where governments actively enforce the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities over their land.
Forests, especially tropical forests, are among the most important bulwarks against global warming. These natural resources store carbon, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Yet across the global tropical forest belt, forests—even protected forests—are being felled for pulp and paper and to make room for soy fields, cattle pastures and palm oil plantations.