Rio Doce Panel


The Rio Doce Panel is an Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (ISTAP) convened and managed by IUCN to provide objective recommendations to the restoration of the Rio Doce watershed



In November 2015, the failure of the Fundão tailings dam at the Samarco's ore mining site in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, released 39.2 million m3 of tailings, resulting in severe environmental, economic and social damage, as well as 19 deaths. The tailings spill ran approximately 650 km, from the dam through the Doce River, to eventually reach the Atlantic Ocean.

The Rio Doce Panel (RDP), created in 2017, provides recommendations for the restoration of the Rio Doce Basin, led by the Renova Foundation. Convened and managed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the RDP is focused on measures to ensure the long-term environmental and socioeconomic health and resilience of the Rio Doce watershed and adjoining coastal area.


component separator
About the Panel

The Rio Doce Panel was constituted in 2017 as an Independent Scientific Technical Advisory Panel (ISTAP), a valuable tool to address controversial conservation and development issues with the aim of producing scientifically-robust and equitable solutions. 

In the context of the Rio Doce Basin, the objective of the Panel is to produce technical and scientific recommendations to the Renova Foundation and other actors involved in the restoration process and to assess the work being undertaken in the region with a focus on long-term ecosystem health and resilience and the promotion of sustainable social and economic development.  

component separator
Resources and Outcomes

The recommendations are a core part of the advisory work of the Panel. All RDP reports contain objective recommendations aiming to enhance the design and implementation of social and environmental recovery programs. Studies and recommendations are shaped in in two types of content: Thematic Reports and Issue Papers. See the full list below. 

Thematic Reports

Thematic Reports are in-depth research regarding gaps and opportunities that can address critical questions on a landscape scale.

Issue Papers

Issue Papers are short papers with timely recommendations on more specific topics.  

Other Publications

Fact Sheets

Documents with the main information of each Report and Article prepared by the Rio Doce Panel

Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Documents

component separator
Meet the Panel members

In June 2017, IUCN announced Yolanda Kakabase, a globally recognised environmentalist and former President of IUCN, as the Rio Doce Panel Chair. The other members were appointed through an open and competitive process. The Panel is currently composed by: 

  • Yolanda Kakabadse,  chair of the Rio Doce Panel. Former President of IUCN, former Ecuadorian Minister of Environment; lives in Quito, Ecuador. GOVERNANCE 

  • Francisco Barbosa, PhD, Deputy Chair of the Panel, Professor of Freshwater Ecology and Limnology in the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), lives in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  FRESHWATER BIOLOGY 

  • Christianne Maroun, DSc, Professor of Environmental Engineering at PUC-Rio, lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. WATER MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY 

  • Jonathan Renshaw, PhD, independent social development specialist, researcher in Social Anthropology, lives in Folkstone, UK. SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 

  • Luis E. Sánchez, PhD, Professor of Mining Engineering at Escola Politécnica, University of São Paulo; lives in São Paulo, Brazil. ENGINEERING AND IMPACT ASSESSMENT 

  • Maria Cecilia Wey de Brito, MSc, Member of EKOS Brasil Institute; Former Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests of the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil, lives in São Paulo, Brazil. LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT AND BIODIVERSITY 

  • Peter H. May, PhD, Professor at the Department of Development, Agriculture and Society of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), lives in New York, USA. NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECOLOGICAL ECONOMY


  • Fernando V. Laureano, PhD Professor in the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Fernando attended the Panel from June 2018 to August 2019. GEOLOGY.  

  • Hubert Roeser, PhD. Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering, in the Federal University of Ouro Preto, from Germany, lives in Ouro Preto, Brazil. Hubert attended the Panel from September 2017 to June 2018. ENVIRONMENTAL DIAGNOSTICS AND HYDROLOGY. 

  • Keith Alger, PhD in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, from Maryland, US. Keith attended the Panel from September 2017 to June 2018. ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT AND MANAGEMENT RESTORATION. 

  • Luiza Alonso, EdD, former Professor of Sociology, at Brasilia Catholic University; member of FUNDHAM (Fundação Museu do Homem Americano); from São Paulo, Brazil. Luiza attended the panel from September 2017 to March 2020. HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIAL JUSTICE 

component separator
Documents of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions