The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild
By Scott Stone
The Lookfar Podcast tells the stories of conservation leaders from around the world working on the front lines to defend our planet's wild and wondrous places. The Lookfar Podcast is hosted by Scott Stone and Marlies Quirino of Lookfar Conservation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More at lookfar.org.
Protecting Isolated Indigenous Peoples
We talk with Daniel Aristizabal of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) about his work protecting isolated indigenous peoples in Colombia. These are indigenous communities that, sometimes centuries ago, decided to withdraw and avoid contact with the outside world, which Daniel describes both as a defense strategy and an act of rebellion. Protecting the rights of indigenous peoples is never easy, and here ACT faces the exceptional challenge of having to do so without contacting the communities it seeks to protect. Available on all major podcast platforms. Just search Lookfar and you'll find it!
January 03, 2023
Restoring the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve
The intrepid team at the Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) in the Western Cape in South Africa joins Marlies Quirino and Scott Stone of Lookfar Conservation for an in-person discussion about community-level conservation work done at a landscape scale. The 3.2 million hectares of the GCBR, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2015, is a living laboratory for complex conservation and restoration initiatives in a region where three global biodiversity converge: the Fynbos, the Succulent Karoo, and the Maputoland-Tongoland-Albany. It's no substitute for an authentic South African braai, but a fascinating and inspiring discussion nonetheless!
October 19, 2022
Saving the Golden Lion Tamarin
Luís Paulo Ferraz and Carlos Ruiz of the Associação Mico-Leāo-Dourado (AMLD) join Marlies Quirino and Scott Stone of Lookfar Conservation to talk about protecting and restoring the habitat of the endangered Golden Lion Tamarin – a small monkey found only in surviving fragments of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Luís Paulo and Carlos talk about how AMLD’s work is driven by local communities, sparking social entrepreneurship throughout the region – such as the organic farm and bed and breakfast Fazenda dos Cordeiros and women-led tree nursery businesses that supply seedlings for hundreds of native tree species to AMLD and other NGOs, including recent Lookfar Podcast guests Nicholas and Raquel Locke of REGUA.
July 30, 2022
Restoring the Atlantic Forest of Brazil
Nicholas and Raquel Locke of the Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA), located in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, join us on the Lookfar Podcast for an in-person discussion with Scott Stone and Marlies Quirino of Lookfar Conservation. We talk about REGUA’s efforts to connect and protect the highly biodiverse forests of the Guapiaçu Valley, just a few hours drive from Rio de Janeiro, and the many ways in which restoring forests helps create sustainable economic opportunities for surrounding communities.
May 19, 2022
Regenerative Agriculture - Sustaining Livelihoods, Uplifting Communities, and Safeguarding Health
David LeZaks, a Senior Fellow at the Croatan Institute, and David Strelneck, founder of Nourish, join us on the Lookfar Podcast to discuss the opportunities for farmers and the benefits for the public of regenerative agriculture. LeZaks and Strelneck tell us about the different dimensions of regenerative agriculture, discussing ecological, economic, social, and cultural drivers and ways in which new technology platforms could revolutionize price discovery and market access, including through an initiative they’re working on called New Food Marketplace. We then dive into the benefits of regenerative agriculture for nature, people, and the economy, and how the United States and Europe can learn from regenerative systems that have been implemented in the Global South. Make sure to listen until the end where David LeZaks takes us to ‘the dark matter of food’. The Food Marketplace project is a collaboration between The Croatan Institute, Nourish, MarketSquare, and the Bionutrient Food Association. See links below for more information. New Food Marketplace rewards farmers for the benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Croatan Institute Nourish MarketSquare Bionutrient Food Association
March 30, 2022
Wetlands International - Engaging Communities and Inspiring Action
Rafaela Nicola and Gaston Fulquet of Wetlands International join us this month on the Lookfar Podcast. We talk about the many threats facing the world’s great wetlands and how Wetlands International’s community-centric efforts seek to combat those threats, working collaboratively with regional and local governments, civil society, and the private sector. Rafaela also shares insights from partnering with the Kadiweu indigenous communities in the Pantanal in Brazil, and Gaston details his work in the Parana Basin in Argentina. A fascinating and hopeful discussion as we kick of "Season 2" of the Lookfar Podcast.
March 03, 2022
Paul Rice - Trading Fair for a Sustainable Future
Paul Rice joins us on the Lookfar Podcast this week. Back in 1998, Paul founded Fair Trade USA and serves as its president and CEO. Paul shares with us his first introduction to fair trade when working with farmers in the mountains of Nicaragua in the 1980s. We then delve into Fair Trade today, with nearly one million farmers and workers from 62 countries selling products into the United States under the Fair Trade Certified label, generating $846 million in premiums that’s helped to provide much needed housing, education, health care, and other benefits to local communities. And we look ahead at the future of Fair Trade and the powerful role socially and environmentally conscious businesses can play in building a more sustainable world.
January 26, 2022
Martin Schaefer & Adriana Argoti - Expanding the Canandé Reserve
The Lookfar Podcast returns to the Canandé Reserve in Ecuador this week, where we find a mostly dry and somewhat quiet spot to sit and talk with Martin Schaefer and Adriana Argoti of Fundación Jocotoco, which manages Canandé and fifteen other protected reserves across much of Ecuador’s most biodiverse and threatened ecosystems. Martin and Adriana talk with us about the significant new land acquisitions that have added more than 4,000 hectares (nearly 10,000 acres) to Canandé and the construction of the Chocó Lab, where Jocotoco can expand the scientific research conducted throughout the reserve. With the late afternoon sounds of the forest in the background, we also dwell on the immense challenges still facing the imperiled forests of the Ecuadorian Chocó and Jocotoco’s ambitions and hopes for the future.
December 16, 2021
Ryan Lynch and Mike Ellis - Protecting the Pacific Forest of Ecuador
This week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild, we visit with Third Millennium Alliance (TMA) at the Jama-Coaque Reserve in the Manabí Province of Ecuador. Joining us is TMA CEO Ryan Lynch and TMA’s Director of Research Mike Ellis, plus a quick visit with TMA biologist Moisés Tenorio and TMA co-founder Jerry Toth, who shares TMA’s vision for the future of the Pacific Forest of Ecuador -- one of the world’s most endangered forest ecosystems. But our focus is with Mike, an ornithologist, and Ryan, a herpetologist -- the first time both a “birder” and a “herper” have been on the podcast together. Mike and Ryan talk about the extraordinary biodiversity of the Pacific Forest and the many species of birds, reptiles, and amphibians they’ve observed and recorded as part of their work at the Jama-Coaque Reserve. They also share a few of the challenges of living in close quarters in TMA’s remote research station -- with the herper always out late and the birder always up early. Good thing they’re such good friends, or there might’ve been trouble!
December 02, 2021
Maas Goote - Conserving and Restoring Forest and Wetland Ecosystems
DOB Ecology CEO Maas Goote joins Scott and Lookfar COO Marlies Quirino on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild. This is the first of three forthcoming episodes recorded last month in Ecuador -- this one in the Canandé Reserve while DOB Ecology and Lookfar visited with our partner Fundación Jocotoco. So enjoy the evening sounds of the rainforest accompanying our discussion! (We'll return in the coming weeks with more from Jocotoco.) Maas talks about his background in international environmental law, where among other things he served as the Dutch government's lead climate negotiator, and his transition to heading a charitable foundation supporting forest and wetland conservation and restoration projects in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He shares his views on DOB Ecology's donor strategy and how protecting biodiversity, particularly by maintaining large, interconnected habitats, can play a critical role in combating climate impacts and mitigating emissions. A fascinating, wide-ranging, interdisciplinary discussion with Maas.
November 18, 2021
Luli Masera - Rewilding in Argentina
Luli Masera is the Strategy and Partnerships Director for Rewilding Argentina, an Argentine nonprofit organization seeking to prevent species extinction and reverse environmental degradation, with the goal of restoring the functionality of ecosystems and the well-being of surrounding communities. Luli stops by the Lookfar Podcast to talk about the diverse array of landscapes in which Rewilding Argentina works -- the grasslands of Iberá, the forests of El Impenetrable in the Gran Chaco, and the steppes of Patagonia, among others -- and the remarkable multitude of locally extirpated species successfully reintroduced to Argentina, including the giant river otter, collared peccary, red-and-green macaw, marsh deer, and, of course, the jaguar.
October 25, 2021
Lilian Pintea - Using Data to Connect Communities to Conservation
Dr. Lilian Pintea of the Jane Goodall Institute joins us this week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild. From his upbringing in rural Moldova and Romania to his studies at Moscow State University and the University of Minnesota, Lilian has long been passionate about wild animals and their habitats. As Vice President for Conservation Science at the Jane Goodall Institute, Lilian has spent nearly twenty years applying satellite imagery and other remote sensing and data integration technologies to Dr. Goodall’s community-led conservation work in Gombe National Park, Tanzania and throughout the chimpanzee range in Africa.
October 08, 2021
Avi Garbow - Advocating for the Earth
Avi Garbow joins us this week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild. Avi serves as the environmental advocate for Patagonia, Inc., whose corporate ethos and activism center on protecting the climate and conserving public lands while building ambitious environmental standards into its supply chains and customer outreach. Before joining Patagonia, Avi served in the Obama Administration, as General Counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency. More recently, Avi took a temporary leave from his post at Patagonia to serve as an advisor to the Biden Administration and EPA Administrator Michael Regan. Avi talks with Scott about the differences between the public and the private sector when seeking to advance the frontiers of environmental protection, delving into law, policy, politics, and corporate citizenship and sustainability. Available on all major podcast platforms. Just search “Lookfar” and you’ll find it!
September 15, 2021
Majka Burhardt - Making Connections for Thriving Futures
Majka Burhardt joins us this week on the Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild. As a professional climber, conservation entrepreneur, author, mother of twins, and filmmaker, Majka has spent over two decades leading multi-stage international ventures focused on current issues of cultural and environmental significance spanning Africa, Europe, South and North America. Majka talks with Lookfar CEO Scott Stone and guest host Barbara Merz of Pathfinder International about how she came to found Legado, an international organization working with local and indigenous communities in the world's “last mile” places to prioritize what their community and environment need to thrive together now and into the future – an ultimate goal called Thriving Futures. Majka also talks about her many creative and climbing endeavors, including writing Coffee Story: Ethiopia, and Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa, and serving as the executive producer of the films Waypoint Namibia and Namuli. Available on all major podcast platforms. Just search “Lookfar” and you’ll find it!
August 26, 2021
Shelton Johnson - Inspiring Courage in Our National Parks
Joining us this week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild is Shelton Johnson, a park ranger with the U.S. National Park Service, stationed in Yosemite National Park. Shelton was featured on Ken Burns’ documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea in 2009 and is renowned for his eloquence in telling the story of the Buffalo Soldiers and his tireless efforts to champion diversity and inclusion in our parks. Shelton talks with Lookfar CEO Scott Stone about growing up both in Detroit and, thanks to his father’s military service, in Germany and the United Kingdom, and how this formed his remarkable connection to the natural world, particularly after a visit to Berchtesgaden in the German Alps. Shelton shares his insights on the role of parks and public lands in America, drawing on his African American and Native American heritage and his experiences as an African American park ranger working in U.S. national parks. Available on all major podcast platforms. Just search “Lookfar” and you’ll find it!
July 25, 2021
Clara Rowe - Empowering Ecological Restoration
Clara Rowe is the first CEO of Restor, a pathbreaking data technology platform seeking to instill transparency, connectivity, and ecological insights in restoration efforts around the world. Clara brings a diverse range of conservation and sustainability experience to the tech-driven startup atmosphere of Restor, whose capabilities are rooted in cutting edge scientific research, including in particular work on the carbon sequestration potential of tree planting by the Crowther Lab at ETH Zurich. In addition to her leadership of Restor, Clara talks with us on The Lookfar Podcast about growing up in Costa Rica, working in fishery management and youth development in Latin America and West Africa, and heading the Earthworm Foundation’s Mexico and Central American programs on sustainable agricultural supply chains. Available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and other podcast platforms. Search “Lookfar” and you’ll find it!
May 27, 2021
Nicholas Locke - Building the Reserva Ecológica De Guapiaçu
Tucked away in the Mata Atlântica, the once great forests on the Atlantic coast of Brazil, is a small but ever growing reserve in the Guapiaçu valley barely two hours’ drive from Rio de Janeiro. Reserva Ecológica De Guapiaçu, or REGUA, is one of the most successful ecological restoration projects Lookfar has encountered, and this week we’re thrilled to have Nicholas Locke, REGUA’s president and founder, join us on The Lookfar Podcast to talk about how he acquires old farmlands and fields teams to find seeds, grow seedlings, and plant trees on degraded landscapes. Nicholas also shares insights on how restored ecosystems provide valuable basic services to surrounding communities, such as cleaner water, cleaner air, and greater resilience in the face of natural disasters and other extreme events. There are few people in conservation who brim with more optimism than Nicholas, and in hearing about REGUA and its work, it’s not hard to understand why. Available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and other podcast platforms. Search “Lookfar” and you’ll find it!
May 14, 2021
Martin Schaefer - Defending Ecuador’s Biodiversity
Martin Schaefer is the CEO of Fundación Jocotoco, an Ecuadorian nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the extraordinary biodiversity of Ecuador. Martin joins us on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild to talk about Jocotoco’s origins, the remarkable network of protected reserves it has built over the past two decades, and the close ties it fosters with local communities. Martin also provides an update on Jocotoco’s Chocó Campaign, launched last year in partnership with Lookfar Conservation, which seeks to establish a new, fully contiguous protected area in one of the most biodiverse and imperiled regions of the world that is roughly the size of Yosemite National Park. Available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and other podcast platforms. Search “Lookfar” and you’ll find it!
April 29, 2021
Mark Plotkin - Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Conserving the Amazon
Mark Plotkin is an ethnobotanist, author, and activist. The founder and president of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), Mark joins us this week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild to talk about his life and work in the Amazon -- studying indigenous knowledge and empowering indigenous communities to preserve their heritage and protect their lands. Mark is the author of Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice and, this past year, The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know. He also has his own truly awesome podcast, The Plants of the Gods.
April 15, 2021
Grace Lee - Preserving National Parks Today and Creating Park Stewards for Tomorrow
Our national parks have been called America's best idea. The National Park Trust is one of America's best nonprofit organizations -- working tirelessly to preserve our national parks and connect kids across the country to nearby parks and other outdoor areas. This week, Grace Lee, Executive Director of the National Park Trust, joins us on The Lookfar Podcast to talk about the Park Trust's work acquiring privately-held lands inside and alongside national parks, educating millions of children nationwide through its Buddy Bison and Kids To Parks Day programs, and recognizing leadership in government and in the private sector in support of national parks.
April 08, 2021
Kris Tompkins - Rewilding Iberá and the World
The extraordinary Kris Tompkins joins us this week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild. Kris talks with Lookfar founder Scott Stone about her time as CEO of Patagonia, Inc., and how coming from a business background shaped her approach to conservation. Kris also talks about the nearly 30 years she, along with her late husband Doug Tompkins, devoted to rewilding locally extirpated species, including the jaguar, giant anteater, and green-winged macaws, while protecting more than 14.5 million acres and creating 13 national parks in Chile and Argentina.
March 30, 2021
Jerry Toth - Creating the Jama-Coaque Reserve
This week on The Lookfar Podcast: Voices from the Wild, Scott Stone of Lookfar Conservation talks to Jerry Toth, Co-Founder of the Third Millennium Alliance, about his nonprofit organization’s remarkable origins in the Pacific Equatorial Forests of Western Ecuador and how he is creating a more sustainable future in one of the most imperiled and biodiverse regions of the world.
March 14, 2021