Biographies - ACRAA Management Team & Associates

Diêgo Figueiredo de Siqueira Simplício (Brazilian)


Diêgo Figueiredo is Brazilian, graduated in Law from the University of Triângulo Mineiro (UNITRI, 2012), and registered with the Brazilian Lawyers Order under number 148.062 MG (2013). Diêgo trained for four years at three different institutions: at the Public Ministry of Claudio-MG (where he worked in the civil area); at the UNIFENAS Legal Assistance Center, in the city of Poços de Caldas-MG (also working in the civil area); and at the Public Defender of the State of Minas Gerais, in the city of Uberlândia-MG (where he worked in the area of ​​criminal executions). During this same period he participated in a complementary course on Introduction to Business Management.

As a lawyer, he has been working for nine years emphasizing further studies in the field of Environmental Law.

Bjorn Thor Smestad (Canadian). B.S.F.(a), M.Sc.(b), P. Ag. (c)


Thor Smestad is a Canadian ecosystem restoration specialist. He began this career in 1981 as a tree planter in the mountains of western Canada, and then later, after completing a Bachelor’s degree in forest resources management, continued there as a silvicultural forester. In 1997 he returned to university to complete a Master of Science degree, specializing in soil science. His master’s study was in western Kenya; here he examined the soil fertility changes associated with short-duration agroforestry fallows (see Smestad et al., 2002)(d).

Since completing his masters in 2002, Thor has worked throughout western Canada in the fields of reforestation & ecosystem restoration, and soil erosion control. For a short period (2012 to 2016) he also operated his own native plant nursery and ecosystem restoration company (e). Many of the projects completed during this period were in shoreline and riverbank restoration, and he is now known as a specialist in this area in British Columbia. One of the most exciting projects during this period was the ecological restoration of a small peninsula near Nelson, BC. Here, for a three-day period in each of five consecutive years (2011 to 2015), Thor co-led the local College’s (f) Integrated Environmental Planning Program annual ecological restoration field-school.

Thor’s tropical reforestation experience stems mainly from a six week stay in 2017 at an ecological reserve near Rio De Janeiro called REGUA (g). Here he learned about many aspects of their reforestation program, one they have been operating for years. At present he works seasonally (April-Nov.) as a Senior Ecosystem Restoration Specialist for an environmental consulting company in western Canada (h), and since 2020 has been spending the winter (Jan.-April) in Brazil working to start ACRAA.

a) B.S.F. Bachelor of Science in Forestry. University of British Columbia (Canada). 1994

b) M.Sc. Master of Science (Specialization: Soil Science). University of Saskatchewan (Canada), 2002.

c) P. Ag. Professional Agrologist. BC Institute of Agrology (Canada).

d) Smestad et al. (2002). Short Fallows of Tithonia diversifolia and Crotalaria grahamiana for Soil Fertility Improvement in western Kenya. See here.

e) Treebear Native Plants & Ecological Services. See

f) Selkirk College, Castlegar, BC, Canada. 

g) REGUA: Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (Ecological Reserve of Guapiaçu). Founded and directed by Nicholas and Raquel Locke. 

h) Lotic Environmental Services, Cranbrook, BC, Canada. 

Katherin Daniela León Pinto

My name is Katherin Daniela León Pinto. I was born in Lara-Barquisimeto, Venezuela. I am 27 years old.

From a very young age I have felt a strong connection with plants. When I was 5 years old my family traveled to Valencia-Carabobo where my grandparents lived, they work mono-cultivation with citrus, milky and bananas. One day I asked my grandfather to teach me to work the land; that was my first contact, which led me to discover that this is my passion. Since then, a large part of my life has been dedicated to plants.

My family was a bit nomadic so we traveled a lot. We were in various states of Venezuela; we lived in cities, neighborhoods and towns. In each place I met people who shared their knowledge of plants with me, and this is something that I really liked. Every time I had the opportunity I read books about plants, and learned a little about natural medicine among other things.

Like the plants, I felt a great connection with the animals in each place where we arrived, and I rescued the animals that I found on the street and cured them. Most of them were cured with plants, so I practiced my home remedies.

Those are my passions, plants and animals.

Of course life goes by and the world goes around and in those turns I lived and learned many things, and I am still living and learning.

Now I live in Alter do Chão. Since I arrived here my work with plants has deepened, living two years in Caminho das Pedras, a small community near Alter do Chão that works with agroforestry. There I learned to work with multi-cultivation, agroforestry, and the biodiversity in the humid tropical zone; and with the soil here, which is sandy. This has been a great challenge with great learning.

I have been part of ACRRA for two years now; that is where I work, practicing and sharing everything I have learned. I am still seeking knowledge about plants, including at times taking courses on the internet about agroforestry.

Waldeir dos Santos Pereira

Brazilian, Paraense, Born in Santarém, Bachelor of Forestry Engineering (2020) from the Federal University of Western Pará – UFOPA, specializing in Occupational Safety Engineering (2021–2022) from Faculdade Única – Grupo Prominas/MG.

Waldeir has professional experience in Forestry Engineering with emphasis on Forest Management, Forest Inventory, Environmental Auditing, Silviculture (Installation of Forest Nurseries), and Environmental Projects with Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon. Member of the Interaction Biosphere Research Group – Atmosphere and Micrometerology in Amazonia – IBAMA/UFOPA. He carried out graduation course conclusion work with the theme: Estimates of the Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts of the Last 3 Major Drought Events in the Amazon (2005, 2010 and 2015). Currently, he works as an Environmental Consultant (Legal Entity (PJ) and Individual (PF)), in addition to being the 1st Administrative Secretary of Public Security of Grande Prainha – CONSEG/PRAINHA in the city of Santarém – PA (2021-2023).

Katiane Araújo Lourido
Natural de Santarém – Pará.
Degree in Full Licentiate in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Western Pará/UFOPA (2016). Master’s in Environmental Sciences, in the area of concentration of bioprospecting of natural products – UFOPA (aguardando). Experience in extraction and bioactivity of essential oils. Teaching Science and Biology and environmental education. Currently working in the field of natural cosmetology.