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Dener J. Giovanini

Since the age of 16, Dener Giovanini has been an active environmentalist. He studied biological sciences, but left school to help found a number of environmental organizations, including the Brazilian Green Party. As Founder and General Coordinator of Renctas, a non-governmental, non-profit organization that strives to conserve biodiversity, he is a visible social entrepreneur who has received several threats to his life.

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Hybrid Social Enterprise
Sustainable Development
Areas of Impact
Latin America


Renctas is riding the global wave of heightened environmental consciousness and taking advantage of the growing awareness among Brazilians of their country’s unique flora and fauna and the need to protect these treasures. It is also using the internet to catalyse a national movement to curtail trade in wild animals.

While wildlife trade in Brazil is illegal, laws are rarely enforced and selling wild animals as pets around the world has become commonplace. In only four years, Renctas has been able to dramatically lower the animal trafficking tolerance threshold in Brazil. In collaboration with other institutions, including governmental agencies and the business sector, animal trafficking is now denounced and prosecuted as a crime. Renctas works on three fronts: raising national awareness of animal trafficking and educating the general public on this issue; supporting public authorities responsible for the surveillance and control of trafficking; and conducting research to further improve its public outreach activities.

Renctas has provided the general public with a web-based mechanism for reporting such cases so that the authorities can pursue the perpetrators. The organization also works closely with those most likely to encounter illegal trafficking activities, including agents from federal, civil, forest and military police. With 12 full-time employees and an apprenticeship programme with eight students, Renctas has been able to mobilize an active body of 1,200 volunteers to its cause from all segments of society. It has also formed partnerships with other entities working to curtail trafficking in wild animals, including the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, various police branches, and Interpol. Among the private companies that support Renctas are BR Distributors and Furnas Centrais Electricas. These strategic alliances have enabled Renctas to work within a powerful network, pooling resources and taking advantage of different platforms, particularly the internet, to engage all social actors in a concerted effort to address this harmful practice. Renctas has generated interest from other countries in the Americas, including the US, Ecuador, Argentina, Venezuela, Paraguay and Peru, to initiate a South American network to fight trafficking of wild animals.


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