The city of Vitória is an island in the state of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. With its slightly more than 350 thousand inhabitants the island is considered one the of the cities with better quality of life in Brazil, but at the same time it is dominated by mining, and suffers from the constant increase of temperature and reduction of rainfall. It is there that the young biologist, Flávia Martinelli, watches the sea through her window and wonders what will happen to her dear “Little Vitória” with the Climate Change.
Flávia grew surrounded by green, nature, and animals. Her grandfather, who she talks about as one of her great inspirations, raised birds. Although today she disagrees with the breeding of wild animals in captivity, she credits her passion for nature and animals to these birds in her grandfather’s backyard.
It was in the Biology university that Flávia concluded that everything in this world is connected. It was there that she walked into forests, experienced the mountains, the diversity of animals and plants, and also the need to preserve all of this. At the end of her master’s degree in Animal Biology, Flávia began working with the rescue of animals in large construction sites such as the construction of a power transmission line and the building of a port. “These construction projects were authorized, they had environmental licensing, but still lacked planning and had a lot of deforestation. I saw firsthand the neglect and lack of supervision”, she tells.
In April 2015 Flavia was already tired. She loved her job for being close to the animals, but suffered with all the degradation of nature she saw around her. “I thought that deep down my work wouldn’t have a nice result for my life”. Searching in the internet for references to engage and perform more actively she found the NGO Engajamundo – a Brazilian organization that empowers young people to UN international negotiations, and from there creates action proposals to influence decision-making in international, national and local contexts.
Flávia is tireless. She is an eternal curious person always in search of new knowledge. She keeps asking herself how to make also “ordinary” people have access to information on the environment, nature and preservation. At Engajamundo she found that answer. The NGO is organized in different Working Groups: Climate; Habitat 3 (Housing and Urban Development); Gender, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. As Flávia always wanted to learn more about Climate, she decided to join this group.
“We don’t learn about Climate Change in University. Participating in the Climate working group of Engajamundo helped me to seek for more information and to learn much about the subject”. Flávia learned so much that a year later she is now the coordinator of this group. Today she helps other young Brazilians to have access to more information on Climate Change, to understand how are the decision-making processes are in the cities, the countries and the world about this theme, and to act – either with protests, or knocking on politicians’ doors for a meeting or communication campaigns. “Engajamundo helped me to stop being afraid, and to do things. What I want now is to help more young people to go into action”.