The Gruin family, the global conservation community, and the many friends and colleagues who had the honor of knowing Mark Gruin suffered a grave loss this past weekend with his unexpected and too-early passing from this world on Saturday, August 13th. Remembering Mark Gruin – Rainforest Trust
Mark was a friend, an ally, a leader. He was a deep, gentle soul who touched so many. He was a great spirit. We at the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force remember when Mark first came into our network—with bright, inquisitive eyes, an easy smile, and a wise and respectful manner—Mark sought to connect, to understand, and, through this act of connection, to determine how to make the world a better place for people, for forests, and for all who depend upon the wild and special places of our world. Mark touched many of us so personally.
In Belem, Pará, Brazil last October, he deftly delivered a presentation on the important work of the Rainforest Trust and, perhaps even more importantly, connected with leaders working to protect the important Amazonian ecosystem. A few months later, in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil last March, again Mark brought vision, spirit, energy and, most of all, connection to us. He engaged in important policy and practice discussions about conservation during the day. He danced with us at night. He worked tirelessly alongside GCF Task Force members and allies to determine pathways for partnerships across geographies and peoples, to determine connections that would have impact. Mark was quiet and gentle, strong and thoughtful. And he appreciated things fully. A favorite memory of ours from Amazonas is of Mark outside a turtle hatchery along the Rio Negro. As a community leader patiently explained the conservation project Mark stood in the background taking it all in. He listened, looked, learned. And he bore a huge smile on his face, one aspect of Mark we all remember so well.
And so, we celebrate you, Mark. We celebrate all you believed in. We celebrate all you did through your life’s work, the people and places you touched in your journey here. And in doing so, in celebrating you, our tears give way to smiles.
“Travel well”—wise words from Mark Gruin to live by… in all we do.