Born in Rio de Janeiro, it was Paquetá Island, in Guanabara Bay, that aroused sensitivity to socio-environmental issues. As a teenager, he began his activist life, participating in movements and organizations focused on the protection and recovery of Guanabara Bay and Tijuca Forest, and for the defense of their communities.
These experiences led him in 1985 to graduate in Biological Sciences at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), where the Bachelor's Degree in Ecology and the Licentiate in Sciences broadened his perspective on the relationship between human beings and nature. His theoretical reflections, however, were allied to the simultaneous work of creating and implementing an environmental education project aimed at children and young people who lived on the streets – something unprecedented in the country until that moment.
His work as an educator accompanied him throughout his academic training, which included a Masters in Education at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and a Doctorate in Social Work at UFRJ, in the 1990s. During this period, he worked with socio-environmentally vulnerable groups. , mainly residents of the periphery and favelas, traditional peoples and communities – such as quilombolas, caiçaras, artisanal fishermen and shellfish gatherers.
His contribution gradually gained scale, taking him to all regions of Brazil to participate in the development of public policies, technical standards, methodologies and theoretical frameworks for the consolidation of environmental education and social participation in the public environmental management system. Its main focuses were environmental licensing, management of conservation units and water resources, with emphasis on its innovative approach to situations of environmental conflict and the mitigation of impacts of polluting activities on traditional peoples.
He is currently a professor at the Faculty of Education at UFRJ, a researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and an ad hoc reviewer for research and development foundations. It develops and coordinates socio-environmental projects with traditional peoples, supporting the organization of their struggles for the guarantee of rights, and the carrying out of social and economic processes that ensure the reproduction of their ways of life, fundamental aspects for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity.