Interview with President Tom Lovejoy

This fall, we were able to sit down with Amazon Biodiversity Center President Thomas Lovejoy, who has been called the “Godfather of Biodiversity,” to discuss his motivations, concerns, and hopes for the future. Social media intern Aliyah Hall inquired about where Tom came from and what his plans are for the future, hoping to spark interest and ambition in others.


Tom Lovejoy has held many titles, including but not limited to Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation, a university professor in the Environmental Science and Policy department at George Mason University, the World Bank's chief biodiversity advisor, the lead specialist for the environment for Latin America and the Caribbean, and senior advisor to the president of the United Nations Foundation, President and subsequently the first Biodiversity Chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and chair of the Scientific Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) for the Global Environment Facility.

In this interview, Tom discusses what these roles meant to him and the Amazon rainforest, collaborations with scientists like Ed Wilson and Elliot North, the lessons the Amazon rainforest has taught the world, the indigenous population in Brazil, and his hopes for the future of the planet’s ecosystems. Most importantly, he inspires others to get interested and take action to make a difference. “I would love to see the Amazon [rainforest] sustainably developed, intact, the hydrological cycle essentially secure, and I would love to see the Amazon Biodiversity Center as a key player in all of that -- but not the only player. We need a lot of others to get engaged.”


Find the video here: https://youtu.be/0UY1ZydHjd4


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