From professional surfing to saving forests, Catarina Lorenzo embraces every opportunity to connect with and conserve nature. This young climate hero registers the need for more immediate action and brings her voice to campaigns which empower community-led conservation. One of her latest passion projects, ‘Saving Vale Encantado Forest’, reflects how important local activism and indigenous voices are to protecting and rejuvenating native ecosystems.

Catarina is not only a paragon for young women leading nature advocacy, but she is also an example of how valuable local communities and indigenous voices are to conservation. This is her story…

Catarina Lorenzo campaigning to save her forest and create an Enchanted Valley.

Saving My Forest by Catarina Lorenzo

My name is Catarina Lorenzo, I am 13 years old from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. I am an Activist, a surfer, and really passionate about nature. I am a girl that grew up together with nature. A place I visit a lot since I was in my mom’s belly, is a forest called Vale Encantado. It is part of the Atlantic forest biome, which right now there is just 12.5% of this ecosystem left in the entire world.

I live in this forest; I am connected to it. Before I was even born, my parents and grandparents were campaigning to save Vale Encantado, so in reality my first activist fight was to help save it.

The government of my city, Salvador, wanted to pass an Avenue called Atlantic Avenue that would destroy the entire forest. A diversity of threatened flora and fauna live in the ecosystem. By destroying this vital sanctuary, we would kill over 100 endangered species. The fight to protect this forest is still going on despite beginning over 13 years ago. Right now, we are trying to create the first wildlife refuge in Salvador to protect this forest from the danger it faces.

However, without the signature of our mayor, ACM Neto, a refuge is not possible. His signature we save the forest of Vale Encantado and all the endangered species which inhabit it. If you want to help us, please follow @sosvaleencantado, and post on your social media a card written #assinadecretoprefeitoACMneto, tagging the mayor of Salvador @acmnetooficial.

Let’s make a change and create an enchanted valley for endangered wildlife by saving this forest!

Explorer and media producer, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide resources and opportunities for creative exploration.