Gross, Tony

Adjunct Senior Fellow

  • Tony Gross
    Brazil and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

    Research Interests

    • Environmental history/migrations/frontiers
    • Globalization and the future of indigenous peoples/traditional communities/biodiversity
    • The politics of national implementation of global environmental law and norms


    • B.A., Literature, School of Comparative Studies, University of Essex
    • Diploma, Latin American Studies, Emmanuel College and Centre for Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge
    • St. Antony’s College and Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oxford

    Biographical Statement

    Tony Gross studied literature, politics, rural sociology, social anthropology and development economics in the UK before moving to Brazil in the 1970s. He undertook doctoral research on social movements and conflicts over land and natural resources in the Brazilian Amazon region.

    As an Adjunct Senior Fellow of UNU-IAS since 2004, he contributes to the work of the Biodiplomacy Initiative and Traditional Knowledge Initiative on issues relating to access to genetic resources, benefit-sharing, traditional knowledge, and national implementation of global biodiversity-related treaties. He has recently completed (with Christian Prip and others) a review of national biodiversity strategies and action plans worldwide. Current research includes the impact of REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) initiatives on indigenous peoples and the need for safeguards, and indigenous perceptions of climate change in the North West Amazon region. Other research interests include traditional fire management and carbon trading in tropical savannah regions, and the expansion of Brazilian agribusiness into African savannahs.

    Tony has worked for Oxfam and for Brazilian NGOs. He was a member of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Director of the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development. He was a coordinator of the Global Forum at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, has been an adviser on national and global biodiversity issues to the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment since 2005 and is a member of the board of the Instituto Socioambiental.  In 2004 he was awarded the Chico Mendes Prize by the State of Acre. He holds Brazilian and UK citizenship and lives in Brasília.

  • Other Publications (Conference Proceedings, etc)

    • Prip, C; Gross, T; Johnston, S; Vierros, M (2010). Biodiversity Planning: An assessment of national biodiversity strategies and action plans. United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, Yokohama, Japan.
    • Gross, T & F. Issler (2008). Towards 2010: A Guide to Carrying Out National Assessments of Progress Towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target. United Nations Development Programme /Global Environment Facility, New York, USA
    • Brazil (2008). Implementation of the CBD in Brazil: issues on the agenda of COP-9. Ministry of the Environment, Brasília 2008 (co-editor).
    • Convention on Biological Diversity (2007). CBD Training Modules: National Strategies and Action Plans. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal. (co-author).
    • Brazil (2006). Convenção sobre Diversidade Biológica e Protocolo de Cartagena sobre Biossegurança: Principais Resultados COP-8 e MOP-3. Ministry of the Environment, Brasília (editor).
    • Tony Gross, Sam Johnston & Charles V. Barber (2006). A Convenção sobre Diversidade Biológica: Entendendo e Influenciando o Processo / The Convention on Biological Diversity: Understanding and Influencing the Process. Ministry of the Environment, Brasilia, United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, Yokohama. (Published simultaneously in Portuguese and English).
    • Gross, T (2005). A Guide for Countries Preparing Third National Reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity. United Nations Development Programme /Global Environment Facility, New York, USA.
    • Capobianco, João Paulo et al (2004). Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon. Editora Estação Liberdade & Instituto Socioambiental, São Paulo. (Associate Editor, English language edition)
    • Latorre, F; Mackenzie, R; Gross, T; Tsioumani, E; McLellan, C (2003). The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety: a history of the negotiations. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal.
    • Convention on Biological Diversity (2001). Global Biodiversity Outlook. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal (editor).
    • Chico Mendes and Tony Gross (1989). Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his own words. Latin America Bureau, London, 1989 (also Monthly Review Press, New York, 1990; translated into Dutch (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Jan Mets 1989), German (Göttingen: Lamur 1990), Danish (Copenhagen: Mellemfolfeligt Samvirke 1990), French (Paris: Éditions du Seuil 1990), Japanese (Tokyo: Gendaikikakushitsu Publishing 1991), plus Turkish and Bahasa Indonesia editions; second edition, updated and enlarged Latin America Bureau, London. 1992)
    • plus: sole or joint authorship of around sixty pre-session documents for meetings of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity and subsidiary bodies, the United Nations General Assembly, and inter-agency meetings, 1994-present