• Blanca Echeverry
    Blanca Echeverry
    IRI Colombia, National Facilitator

    Blanca Echeverry is a lawyer by profession, an advisor to the Inter-Religious Council of Colombia, and a delegate on the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. An activist for Human Rights in her country, she served as National Coordinator to accompany displaced communities to advocate for their rights. Previously, she worked for more than 20 years with the Ombudsman’s Office of Colombia where she served as Deputy Ombudsman for Indigenous Affairs and Ethnic Minorities and Public Defender. She leads the IRI Colombia country program.

  • Carlos Vicente
    Carlos Vicente
    IRI Brazil, National Facilitator

    Carlos Vicente is a forest engineer (Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro – UFRRJ) and holds an MBA in Natural Resources Management (Costa Rican Institute of Business Administration – INCAE). He has vast experience in Brazilian Amazon issues, having served as State Secretary for Forest & Traditional Populations in the State of Acre, Director of the National Forestry Program at the Minister of Environment of Brazil, Technical Adviser for former-Environmental Minister Marina Silva. He leads the IRI Brazil country program.

  • Hayu Prabowo
    Hayu Prabowo
    IRI Indonesia, National Facilitator

    Dr. Hayu Prabowo has been the chairman of Environment and Natural Resources body of the Indonesia Council of Islamic Scholars since its inception in 2010. He also serves as the Chairman of National & International Affairs and Environment Department of the Indonesia Council of Mosques. He is also a founder green Islamic boarding school (ecoPesantren) and lecturer and a researcher in Islamic economic and finance with the interest in sustainable finance and impact investment. He leads the IRI Indonesia country program.

  • Laura Vargas
    Laura Vargas
    IRI Peru, National Facilitator

    Laura Vargas has served as Executive Secretary of the Interreligious Council of Peru and co-Secretary of the Judeo-Christian Fellowship since 2009. She brings 30 years’ experience working with the CEAS of the Catholic Church of Peru, 16 of which was as Executive Secretary; following this post, she was asked to assume the area of the Social Doctrine of the Church. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors of World Vision Peru, Pax Christi Peru, and as head of the human rights team of the El Departamento de Justicia y Solidaridad (DEJUSOL). She leads the IRI Peru country program.

  • Matthieu Yel Bonketo
    Matthieu Yel Bonketo
    IRI DRC, National Facilitator

    Reverend Bonketo was the National Director in charge of Forest and Climate at the Church of Christ in Congo and was also responsible for defining the ECC policy, advocacy and mobilization of member communities for sustainable forest management and climate change mitigation. Reverend Bonketo is the founder and coordinator of Defense of the Environment (CEDEN) NGO and brings in 17 years of project planning, management, evaluation and advocacy for the protection of tropical forests and the rights of local communities and indigenous people. He leads the IRI DRC country program.


Dec 08 2023


5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Religions in Action for Forests, Climate and Indigenous Peoples: Innovations from the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative in Brazil, Colombia, DRC, Indonesia and Peru – Interfaith Rainforest Initiative

The world’s religions are making forest protection and restoration a priority strategy in addressing climate change.  Through the Interfaith Rainforest Initiative (IRI), senior religious leaders are rallying their communities to act, educating their communities to become advocates for forest protection and restoration, and calling on governments and the private sector to adopt policies that protect forests and the rights of indigenous peoples. The event will feature innovations from IRI country programs in Brazil, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia and Peru on their work in five countries that contain 70% of the world’s remaining rainforests.