Boston lawyer Jeffrey Glassman is working with the former leader of Greenpeace and politicians to develop a reforestation plan for Matos Grosso, Brazil, a section of the country that has suffered rainforest devastation.
The personal injury attorney met with Matos Grosso Gov. Blairo Maggi, a soybean farmer known as Brazil’s “King of Soy,” at the Matos Grosso Statehouse in September to discuss saving the forest.
Glassman is a member of the Energy and Environment Task Force, a group of more than one dozen attorneys that oversees the MBA Lawyers Eco-Challenge, and the founder of RainforestMaker, a non-profit aimed at preserving the rainforest.
“We’re trying to work with (Maggi) to come up with sustainable practices and work on a reforestation plan,” he said. “We’re hoping to develop a collaborative partnership with Matos Grosso.”
Maggi has been condemned by Greenpeace and was given its Golden Chainsaw Award in 2006 for contributing to the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest. Glassman believes Maggi does care about the environment on some level, it just hasn’t been publicized.
“It’s not the whole truth,” Glassman said about the information that has been distrib- uted about Maggi. A positive restriction many do not know about is one that limits development to no more than 20 percent in a portion of the Amazon, Glassman said.
A draft of the reforestation plan has been sent to Maggi and more meetings will be held once it has been finalized, Glassman said. Funding has not yet been determined.
“It’s an ongoing process,” he said.
The September meeting lasted about an hour and included roughly 10 people, includ- ing Glassman and Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, who now heads Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. and sits on the board of directors of RainforestMaker. Maggi and his environmental team were also in attendance.
“It was a very productive meeting and they had an entire agenda for us the next day,” Glassman said. Maggi’s environmental team took the visitors on a tour of his land and explained his practices. Glassman and Maggi met for the first time in New York in May, just days after Glassman read about Maggi in a National Geographic magazine article that discussed the struggle to conserve land while remaining economically viable.