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The Sustainable Amazon Network (RAS), composed of researchers from more than 30 institutions in Brazil and abroad, is an initiative created with the objective of producing and applying scientific evidence as a way to strengthen sustainability in the Amazon region

Photo: Marizilda Cruppe/Rede Amazônia Sustentável 


RAS, founded in 2009, was born from the integration of several large-scale research projects. Today, we are a multidisciplinary international research and learning network tackling the challenge of making tropical land usage more sustainable. We seek to promote dialogue between scientists and decision makers at different levels of government (local, regional and federal) and believe in the importance of communicating the results of our studies to as wide an audience as possible.


The Sustainable Amazon Network (RAS) is coordinated by researchers from: Embrapa Eastern Amazon (Brazil), Lancaster University (UK), Stockholm Environment Institute (Sweden), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), University of Oxford (UK) and Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture/University of São Paulo (Brazil).

RAS Management Committee

Joice Ferreira

Embrapa Eastern Amazon (Brazil)

An ecologist at Embrapa Amazônia Oriental and co-founder of the Rede Amazônia Sustentável (RAS) she is also a professor associated with postgraduate courses at the Federal University of Pará. She has been doing research in the Amazon for more than 15 years, which encompasses the search for solutions to reconcile environmental conservation, agriculture and forest use.

Jos Barlow

University of Lancaster (United Kingdom)

Professor of Conservation Science in Lancaster, UK, co-founder of the Rede Amazônia Sustentável (RAS), and a professor associated with postgraduate courses at the Federal Universities of Pará and Lavras. He has been working in the Brazilian Amazon since 1998, and currently leads and contributes to several joint Brazil-UK research projects in the Santarém region.

Toby Gardner

Stockholm Environmental Institute (Sweden)

Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI), where he is one of the leaders of the Consumer Producer Sustainability Initiative and the recently launched Transparency Platform for Sustainable Economies (Trase). He has over 15 years of experience working on tropical land use sustainability, especially in the Brazilian Amazon, and he is one of the founders of the Rede Amazônia Sustentável (RAS).

Alexander Lees

Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom)

A senior lecturer in Biodiversity at the Manchester Metropolitan University, Alex has been working in the Amazon since 2003 where he has focussed on avian responses to land cover change. He is affiliated with the Goeldi Museum in Brazil, where he spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow, and is also a research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA.

Erika Berenguer

Universities of Oxford and Lancaster (United Kingdom)

Brazilian, a senior researcher at the Universities of Oxford and Lancaster (UK), specialising in tropical forests. Her studies focus on understanding how human-caused disturbances lead to degradation of tropical forests, specifically their effects on carbon stocks and plant diversity in the Brazilian Amazon.

Cecília Leal

Lancaster University (United Kingdom)

Biologist, researcher at Lancaster University, UK. She started working in the Amazon in 2009 for her PhD at the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA) and Lancaster University, in the UK. From 2016 to 2022, she was a researcher at the Goeldi Museum in Belém, Pará and at University of São Paulo (USP), campus Luiz de Queiroz School of Agriculture (ESALq). In a decade of research in the Amazon, she has investigated the impacts of human activities on the biodiversity of small Amazonian streams.


The RAS work began with a network of more than 400 study sites largely within agricultural land holdings in the regions of Paragominas and Santarém in the state of Pará, producing new scientific knowledge permitting extrapolation to other Amazonian regions. While these initial landscapes continue to be used in different projects, we have also expanded our area of focus to other areas of the Eastern Amazon, incorporating data collected from different periods and regions. This wide range of information helps us to understand the ecological and social impacts of a changing Amazon.


Members of the RAS have authored hundreds of scientific publications in the last decade and featured prominently in some of the world’s leading journals and journals such as Nature, Science, Ecology Letters, Nature Climate Change, Biological Conservation, Ecology & Society and others.




Different fire types in the Amazon

Not all fires are the same, not even in the Amazon. For each specific type of fire, there is a specific cause which requires a specific solution. In this video we present the different types of fires in the Amazon, as well as their causes.

Watch all here


The work developed by RAS has influenced public policy, acted as a driver for debates in and outside of academia, and garnered extensive coverage on the pages of newspapers, websites and magazines. Among the media outlets that have already amplified the reach of the RAS research are Folha de S.Paulo, Estadão, El País, Washington Post, BBC, The Guardian, Mongabay, Echo, Valor, Nexus, InfoAmazonia and Medio Ambiente, as well as TV broadcasters such as Globo, SBT and Cultura.



    • Arthur Rylah Institute
    • Boston University
    • Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement – CIRAD
    • Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura, Universidade de São Paulo
    • Departamento de Economia, Universidade de São Paulo (USP)
    • Escola Superior de Agricultura “Luiz de Queiroz”, Esalq/USP
    • Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo
    • Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (IPEA)
    • Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia (IMAZON)
    • Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)
    • London School of Economics (LSE)
    • Manchester Metropolitan University
    • Oregon State University
    • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development
  • Universidade do Estado do Pará (UEPA)
  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
  • Universidade Federal de Goiás (UFG)
  • Universidade Federal de Lavras (UFLA)
  • Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)
  • Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará (UFOPA)
  • Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA)
  • Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
  • Universidade Federal Mato Grosso (UFMT)
  • Universidade Rural da Amazônia (UFRA)
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Canberra
  • University of Exeter




Swedish Research Council Formas