Jury citation for the 2016 Volvo Environment Prize laureate
Professor Carlos Nobre has been a pioneer in efforts to understand and protect the Amazon, one of Earth’s most important ecosystems. He has initiated world-leading research on tipping points for the Amazon rainforest and the implication for climate, championed prominent roles for South American scientists in Amazon research, led international global change research efforts, and linked science with policy for the Amazon in national and international arenas.
Professor Carlos Nobre is one of the world’s leading Earth System scientists, and has played a pre-eminent role over several decades in research on the Amazon rainforest. He was a leader in the establishment and implementation of the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, and ensured that South American scientists had a central role in the project. Prof Nobre has mentored and supported numerous young scientists from Brazil and elsewhere, and in his own research has explored possible tipping points for the rainforest related to climate change and land clearing. He has chaired several scientific boards and commissions, and was the chair of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) from 2006 to 2012. In 2011 Prof Nobre was appointed Secretary for Policy and Research and Development Programs at the Ministry of Science and Technology, with responsibility for Brazil’s research and higher education budget. In 2012 he coordinated scientific guidance for the UN’s Rio+20 Summit, and a year later was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to his new Scientific Advisory Board. In summary, Prof. Carlos Nobre has built an outstanding environmental science career over many decades, including cutting-edge research in Earth System science, mentoring and support for early career researchers, leadership of national and international research programs, and science-policy interfaces at the highest levels.