About Steve Schwartzman

Steve Schwartzman

Senior Director, Tropical Forest Policy


Areas of expertise:

Climate change, tropical forest policy, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), Brazil and the Amazon, Indigenous Peoples, incentives for environmental protection


Steve Schwartzman leads EDF’s work on tropical forests and economic incentives for large-scale forest protection.

For more than 30 years, Steve has worked in the Brazilian Amazon with Indigenous and traditional communities, governments, scientists and the private sector to slow deforestation and protect forests. EDF's Brazilian partners have contributed significantly to Brazil's dramatic success in reducing Amazon deforestation and establishing ambitious national emissions reduction targets.

An anthropologist, Steve lived with the Panará people in the Brazilian Amazon for a year and a half and learned their language.

His areas of expertise include tropical forests, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), Brazil and the Amazon, indigenous peoples and incentives for environmental protection. Steve splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Brazil.


Before coming to EDF, Steve represented Brazil’s Institute for Socio-Economic Studies (INESC), served as coordinator of the U.S.-Brazil Tropical Forest Action Network and consulted for the Anthropology Resource Center and other Indigenous rights organizations.

He received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago.


Breno Pietracci, Julia Paltseva, Steve Schwartzman, Ruben Lubowski. Financial Opportunities for Brazil from Reducing Deforestation in the Amazon. Amazônia 2030, 2022.

"The natural and social history of the indigenous lands and protected areas corridor of the Xingu River basin." Schwartzman, Stephan, et al. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 368.1619 (2013).

"Social movements and large-scale tropical forest protection on the Amazon frontier: Conservation from chaos." Schwartzman, Stephan, et al. The Journal of Environment & Development 19.3 (2010): 274-299. http://jed.sagepub.com/content/19/3/274

"Nature and culture in central Brazil: Panará natural resource concepts and tropical forest conservation." Schwartzman, Stephan. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 29.2-4 (2010): 302-327. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10549810903548161

"The End of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon." Nepstad, D., B. Soares, A. Lima, P. Moutinho, J. Carter, M. Bowman, A. Cattaneo, H. Rodrigues, D. McGrath, C. Stickler, Stephan Schwartzman, Ruben Lubowski, and P. Piris-Cabezas. Science326 (2009): 1350-351. Print.

Bellassen, V., R. Crassous, L. Dietzch, and Stephan Schwartzman. "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation: What Contribution Carbon Markets?Climate Report 14 (2008). Print.

"Compensated Reductions: Rewarding Developing Countries for Protecting Forest Carbon."Schwartzman, Stephan, and P. Moutinho. Climate Change and Forests: Emerging Policy and Market Opportunities. By Charlotte Streck. London: Chatham House, 2008. Print.

Nepstad, D., B. Soares, F. Merry, P. Moutinho, H. Rodrigues, M. Bowman, and Stephan Schwartzman.  The Costs and Benefits of Reducing Carbon Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in the Brazilian Amazon. Rep. Falmouth, MA: Woods Hole Research Center, 2007. Print.

"Inhibition of Amazon Deforestation and Fires by Parks and Indigenous Reserves." Nepstad, D., and Stephan Schwartzman. Conservation Biology 20 (2006): 66-73. Print.

"Panara: De Volta Para O Futuro." Schwartzman, Stephan. Povos Indigenas No Brasil: 2001 - 2005. By Beto Ricardo and Fany Ricardo. Sao Paulo: Instituto Socioambiental, 2006. Print.

Tropical Deforestation and Climate Change. Moutinho, P., and Stephan Schwartzman. . Rep. Washington, D.C.: EDF, 2005. Print.

"Tropical Deforestation and the Kyoto Protocol: an Editorial Essay." Santilli, M., P. Moutinho, Stephan Schwartzman, D. Nepstad, L. Curran, and C. Nobre. Climatic Change 71 (2005): 267-76. Print.

"Conservation Alliances with Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon."Schwartzman, Stephan, and B. Zimmerman. Conservation Biology 3 (2005): 721-27. Print.

Etnodesenvolvimento e políticas públicas; Estado e povos indígenas; e Além da tutela: bases para uma nova política indigenista. Mana [online]. Schwartzman, Stephan. 2004, vol.10, n.1, pp. 216-219

"Tropical Reforestation and Deforestation and the Kyoto Protocol.” Bonnie, R., and Stephan Schwartzman. Conservation Biology 17 (2003): 4-5. Print.

"Counting the Cost of Deforestation.” Bonnie, R., M. Oppenheimer, Stephan Schwartzman, and J. BloomfieldScience 288 (2000): 1763-764. Print.

"Perils in Parks: Rethinking Tropical Forest Conservation." Moreira, A., D. Nepstad, and Stephan Schwartzman. Conservation Biology 14 (2000): 1351-357. Print.

"Arguing Tropical Forest Conservation: People Versus Parks.” Moreira, A., D. Nepstad, and Stephan Schwartzman. Conservation Biology 14 (2000): 1370-374. Print.

From the Ashes: Reflections on Chico Mendes and the Future of the Rainforest. Ed. Schwartzman, Stephan. Rep. Washington, D.C.: EDF & WWF, 1998. Print.

"Social Movements and Natural Resource Conservation in the Brazilian Amazon." Schwartzman, Stephan. The Rainforest Harvest: Sustainable Strategies for Saving the Tropical Forests? : including the Proceedings of an International Conference Held at the Royal Geographical Society, London 17-18th May 1990. By Simon Counsell and Tim Rice. London: Friends of the Earth Trust, 1992. Print.

Um Artifício Orgânico: Transição Na Amazônia E Ambientalismo. Arnt, Ricardo, and Stephan Schwartzman. , 1985-1990. Rio De Janeiro: Rocco, 1992. Print.

 Land Distribution and the Social Costs of Frontier Development in Brazil: Social and Historical Context of Extractive Reserves. Schwartzman, Stephan. Nepstad, Daniel C., and Stephan Schwartzman. Non-timber Products from Tropical Forests: Evaluation of a Conservation and Development Strategy. Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden, 1992. Print.

Non-timber Products from Tropical Forests: Evaluation of a Conservation and Development Strategy. Nepstad, Daniel C., and Stephan Schwartzman. Bronx, NY: New York Botanical Garden, 1992. Print.

"Deforestation and Popular Resistance in Acre: From Local Social Movement to Global Network." Schwartzman, Stephan. The Centennial Review 35.2 (1991). Print. (Michigan State University)

Bankrolling Disasters: International Development Banks and the Global Environment. Schwartzman, Stephan. Publication. Sierra Club and EDF, 1986. Print.