Vanessa is a leading environmental lawyer and advocator based in São Paulo, Brazil. She holds a PhD in Environmental Law focusing on Rights of Nature, as well as a Master’s degree specialising in Water Policy, both from the Catholic University of São Paulo. She is the Executive Director of MAPAS, an NGO that develops and implements multisector projects in the areas of forest restoration, sanitation and education. Vanessa’s work has had a major impact in advancing municipal laws and policies to increase enforcement of Rights of Nature in Brazil. In 2017, Vanessa and her team led a campaign that resulted in the approvement of the first law in Brazil recognising Rights of Nature in the city of Bonito (Pernambuco). Vanessa is working with local authorities in the cities of São Paulo, Fortaleza, Palmas, Caseara, Alto Paraíso and Florianópolis to obtain the recognition of Nature´s Rights in those cities as well. In 2018, Vanessa organized the 2º International Forum for the Rights of Mother Earth in São Paulo, as part of a UN sponsored initiative to promote the declaration of the international rights of nature worldwide. She is the author of the book Direitos da Natureza, published in 2016.