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Imagem: Parque Nacional de Yellowstone / Crédito: Stephen McCool

About the scholarship program

It is part of Semeia's work to support the development of professionals in the public management and protected areas sectors. Since 2011, the Institute has offered scholarships to those attending Colorado State University, which is an international reference in training on protected areas management.

We have already supported students of the courses "Management in Protected Areas", "International Mobile Seminar on Tourism and Protected Areas" and "Planning and Managing Tourism in Protected Areas", which focus on planning for tourism and public use in protected areas.

Thus, Semeia builds a network of people who contribute to bringing to the parks and protected areas of Brazil an innovative look and the knowledge that comes from exchanging experiences with colleagues from different countries. Scholarships have been granted for protected areas managers,professionals from the public sector, private entities, and academia.

Check out what happened in previous editions.

Cecília Fernandes de Vilhena
Manager of protected areas of the Minas Gerais State Forest Institute (Instituto Estadual de Florestas de Minas Gerais)

Attended course: Planning and Managing Tourism in Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“Thank you for the great opportunity that Semeia has offered me to participate in the course in Colorado through its scholarship program. Certainly, this program has been multiplying ideas and actions to plan and promote our parks throughout the country, in the most appropriate way, to transform them into areas increasingly valued by all Brazilians. I myself presented the experience gained in the course in November, during the VII Minas Gerais’ State Units Managers Annual Meeting, in the State Park of Rio Doce. There were approximately 85 participants, among them PA's managers, regional coordinators, and technicians of the Board of Protected Areas of the State Institute of Forests of Minas Gerais. (Diretoria de Áreas Protegidas do IEF {Instituto Estadual do Florestas}).

Credit: Stephen McCool

Maria Constança Madureira Homem de Carvalho
Professor at Cândido Mendes University

Attended course: Planning and Managing Tourism in Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“The participation as a scholarship fellow in the Mobile Seminar on Planning and Managing Tourism in Protected Areas has allowed me to make significant advances in my professional life as a lawyer, university professor and researcher in the areas of Law and Tourism. The course helps me to increase this work’s outreach, also with an emphasis on the role of the nonprofit sector. My second book, which is underway, is based on the experiences acquired during the Seminar”.

Crédito: Arquivo Pessoal

Raoni Ferreira
Biologist and consultant

Attended course: Planning and Managing Tourism in Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“It was possible to draw parallels with the reality in Brazil and think about solutions for our internal challenges. The participation in the course triggered the start of a new project that, in partnership with UFMG, aims to create a Center for Protected Areas of the Espinhaço Biosphere Reserve (Observatório das Unidades de Conservação da Reserva da Biosfera do Espinhaço). I am carrying on with the projects I was previously developing, but now I am taking a closer look at the fact that we have to make our PAs more efficient in terms of meeting their goals – tourism, conservation, research, management and others”.

Credit: Personal archive

Ana Flavia Oliveira Peccatiello
Chief Financial Officer of the Environmental Education Program

Attended course: International Mobile Seminar on Tourism and Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“I understand the importance of establishing, in Brazil, a democratic, participative and dynamic process for the management of protected areas. The bureaucratic nature of our public management is also reflected in the management of PAs, which has led to the establishment of a hierarchical and unyielding structure, which tends to sacralize natural areas, not through ideology or principles, but through incapacity and inefficiency in running a public use system. Learning from other countries doesn’t mean copying models, but rather learning about new possibilities and adapting them to the Brazilian reality, in order to create an innovative concept for public use and participation that is not limited only to leisure and contemplation, but that can teach values ​​and awakening the feeling of belonging”.

Credit: Personal archive

Philippe Fauguet
Tour Planning Coordinator of Ministry of Tourism

Attended course: International Mobile Seminar on Tourism and Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“We need to demystify some ideas still in vogue in Brazil. Contrary to what one might think, concessions and authorizations for services do not cover operating costs nor finance the parks in the United States. Although they generate revenue for companies, the main objective in having this type intervention is to provide essential or specialized services for users of the park and thereby provide a positive experience for visitors. The logic of the system is that, with the quality of products and services offered, the number of visitors and the amount of money spent within the PA increases, as such activating the entire production chain inside and around these parks. The resources from the taxes of these consumers then become part of the revenue for federal agencies, and are converted into investment for the parks”.

Credit: Personal archive

Ângela Pelin
Researcher at the Institute of Ecological Research

Attended course: XII Course of Management in Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“I develop projects to create and manage protected areas and in recent years have prepared many management plans. The knowledge acquired in this course has allowed me to broaden my understanding of protected area management and to include in my projects the management principles learned during the course, especially those related to public use, monitoring and integration of PAs with society. The lessons were very intense, especially on the topics of management of the public use of PAs, monitoring and management of fauna and flora, training of staff in protected areas, the importance of bringing society closer to protected areas, either through visitation or environmental education, and how public-private partnerships function”.

Credit: Personal archive

Arthur Trauczinsky
Shareholder of Cataratas do Iguaçu S.A.

Attended course: XII Course of Management in Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“The opportunity to learn about various management models, as well as mechanisms for reducing negative impacts, different types of structures, high levels of visitation and quality tourism, all in alignment with conservation strategies, made me realize that, if we can bring the public sector, the private sector, and society into alignment, yes it is possible to open our PAs for visitation, to preserve nature and transform the culture, bringing society much closer to the environment. Tourism is not the enemy. There are many players and models of public-private partnerships that we can incorporate into the sustainable development process of a PA. With good planning and interest, it is possible to find solutions for infrastructure, tourism programs, the welfare of surrounding communities, and expanding the number of visitors, increasing the protection of this natural heritage and contributing to the financial sustainability of the region and the country”.

Credit: Personal archive

João Emílio
Cunhambebe State Park Manager

Attended course: XII Course of Management in Protected Areas, Colorado State University


“An important fact I learned during the course was that some countries in Latin America, like Chile, Argentina, and Costa Rica, have nature conservation systems that are efficient and well structured. Yet, just like Brazil, the majority of Latin countries still have a long way to go. The fragility of the environmental agencies in their public administration, the lack of continuity in the PA management programs and standardized management planning, along with other factors, keep the parks closed to the public, susceptible to pressures of their buffer zones and to uses quite often incompatible with their conservation purposes. I’d like to note that the material obtained during the course about the ROVAP System (Recreation Opportunity Spectrum in Protected Areas) assisted the Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Institute (INEA-RJ) in developing and conducting a project to bolster public use of state parks”.

Credit: Personal archive

Adriano Mello
Head of Serra do Mar State Park

Attended course: XI Course in Protected Areas Management, Colorado State University


“The course was a landmark in my understanding about the future of our PAs, whose management model is misguided and therefore needs to be restructured. Private initiative is essential for this new model where the parks are transformed into true public ventures. I learned that benchmarking is crucial. It is possible to find creative, innovative and shared solutions to making this thing work, without recreating the wheel. If it were possible, I would say to all managers, public use teams and medium- and high-level technicians and administrators at the agencies that manage Brazil’s PAs, that they should have experiences like in this course; to step outside of their comfort zone, where the resistance and the culture of “no” against new management models still reign”.

Credit: Personal archive

Érika Polverasi Faria
Project Director of the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity

Attended course: XI Course in Protected Areas Management, Colorado State University


“I’m not a PA manager, but I manage projects that work to support the establishment of protected areas. The course was important for the experience of living in protected areas, learning about the different types of services and for the sharing of experiences and knowledge with other participants. I had never experienced this type of course before. My previous experiences were of a more academic nature, and this course has provided an experience that went beyond the classroom and into numerous campgrounds, where physical exertion also was important and healthy. The work was very hands-on, and all participants took part”.

Credit: Personal archive