Driven by LEEP’s focus on promoting international and interdisciplinary education and exchange programs, the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) has created several joint, academic courses in partnership with the state of Acre, Brazil, and the Federal University of Acre (UFAC). Recently, the Dean of UCB’s Law School, James Anaya, traveled to Acre where he, the Governor of Acre, Tião Viana, and UFAC’s Dean, Minoru Kinpara, announced the creation of several short courses in law and sustainable community development. The classes are scheduled for launch in late spring, 2018, and will be hosted by UFAC in Acre and taught by UCB faculty.
While in Acre, Dean Anaya gave a lecture on international indigenous peoples’ rights to Acre’s Public Prosecutor’s Office, highlighting the principles contained in the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and called attention to the need for greater awareness among public officials across all sectors.
UCB Professors and LEEP Fellows Pete Newton and Bernard Amadei also traveled to Acre and conducted field visits for a pilot course on sustainable community development for Spring 2018, uniting professors at UCB from Engineering, ENVS, and LEEP with UFAC professors and governmental leaders. Additionally, Newton is currently researching Acre’s adoption of state-wide low emission development pathways.
The entire CU delegation was honored to spend time with the Puyanawa people, one of Acre’s indigenous communities.
Fostering Cross-Cultural Collaboration
These partnerships are the result of ongoing collaboration between UCB and Acre. In the spring of 2017, Governor Viana and a high-level delegation of civil servants visited Boulder for a two-week exchange. The delegation met with Deans and faculty across UCB, consulted with local business leaders in sustainable food production, and visited the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Governor Viana also lectured UCB faculty and students on Acre’s sustainable approach to economic development.
Acre is a member of LEEP’s foremost project, the Governors’ Climate and Forests (GCF) Task Force that seeks to reduce tropical deforestation and improve livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities in collaboration with subnational actors. Recognized as a leader in the GCF Task Force, Acre has increased GDP while reducing deforestation by 66% over the past 12 years.