On 16 April 2020 the famous Chilean writter Luis Sepùlveda died of coronavirus at Oviedo, Spain, at the age of 71; one of the great contemporary authors, he wrote hugely successful books that have been translated throughout the world.  Deeply sorry for his decease, we remember him with affection as our guest at San Polo for the award ceremony of the 1995 XIII edition of the Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti Literary Prize, which he won in the 'Exploration - Travel' section with his book Patagonia Express, published by Feltrinelli.
The jury motivated its choice as follows: “A collection of twelve travel notes, milestones in a long itinerary through the solitude of Patagonia, by a narrator who epitomises the South American literary tradition and is also engaged in ecological battles".  
A man and writer who since then has increasingly shown himself to be in tune with the spirit and sensitivity of our Prize and of Mazzotti himself. Like him, a fighting spirit, passionate about the environment, life and people. 
On the same occasion, Adriano Zanotto, the Chef of Ristorante Parco Gambrinus, awarded him the 'Gambero d’Oro' (Golden Crayfish).
Antonio Beltrame, secretary to the Prize, remembers him:
«He was not yet so famous, although he had his fans.  I was struck by that Latin look of the south, that jovial way of speaking, his large, farmer's hands, the simplicity of a man of the people.  He came with the son of Inge Feltrinelli, his publisher at the time, and his book was presented by Lionello Puppi, who also interviewed him. He participated with enthusiasm: they talked about travel and civic battles, but above all about marginalisation and the environment: for him sustainability was a fixation, indeed he became a Greenpeace and Slow Food activist.  He repeatedly said that he felt like a farmer, not with a plough or spade, but rather for the landscapes in which he grew up.  He was enthusiastic about the Treviso countryside, particularly the Veneto villas, which he saw as a form of beauty alongside an agricultural economy.  In my memory remains his simplicity, his strong handshake to the members of the jury and audience, the wide smile of a man with a hunger for life. He moved the audience when, taking his leave, he paid tribute to his friend Chico Mendes, who he defined as "a man of few words and many actions", honouring his courageous battles to defend the Amazon and its population.  We can happily say that he shared a brief stretch of the road with us - something beautiful that gives meaning to our literary prize.
In Ecuador, in the protected reserve of the Otonga forest covering over two thousand hectares - an example of a green buffer zone in the heart of the Amazon - is situated the new Sendero Giuseppe Mazzotti. Extending for approximately two kilometres, it connects Otongachi with the Environmental Education Centre and its new visitors' centre.  This is a site where international scholars who are studying the local flora and fauna can stay while carrying out their studies and discovering new animal and vegetal species, as well as ecotourists who wish to visit the reserve. 
The Otonga Foundation, coordinated by entomologist Giovanni Onore (who was one of the speakers at the conference “Let's start taking the environment seriously” organised by the Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti Prize at Asiago in 2019), has decided to dedicate the path to Giuseppe Mazzotti from Treviso.
 
The Associazione Premio Letterario Giuseppe Mazzotti believed in the project right from the start, in the secure knowledge that the motivations would have also excited its inspirator Mazzotti, truly an “ecologista ante litteram”. Onore mentioned the project he was planning during a conference dedicated to the Amazon, held at San Polo di Piave in 1992 (on the five hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America) and the Association immediately made a donation with which he was able to purchase the first 100 hectares of land.  Over the years the Association has organised several fund raising events; in 1998 it involved its partner Valcucine and since then it has guaranteed continuous support for Otonga, through the Bioforest Association.
 
The link between Fondazione Otonga and Premio Mazzotti is not just material support; they also share interests and ideals, inspired by Mazzotti himself.  This acknowledgement would not only have made him proud, but testifies to his commitment to the environment and its protection, long before ecology was recognised as a science.  Indefatigable and charismatic, in his circle of intellectual and artist friends Mazzotti counted brilliant, enlightened minds who had already formulated an ecological mindset and were personally opposed to consumption of the landscape, like the poet Andrea Zanzotto and traveller and writer Freya Stark.
The volume “TERRA. ULTIMA CHIAMATA“, edited by writer and journalist Salvatore Giannella is to be presented online. Published by Antiga Edizioni in October 2020, it is a compendium of the papers presented at the conference 'Mai più l’ambiente preso in giro' (Let's start taking the environment seriously), held at Asiago in September 2019 and organised by the Associazione Premio letterario “Gambrinus Giuseppe Mazzotti”.
The main theme of the conference was climate change and the challenge it represents for humanity; a challenge that will save us only through a radical change in our relationship with nature and between human beings. Many Italian and international speakers took part, including Luca Mercalli, Claudio Smiraglia, Richard Samson Odingo, Paola Favero, Paolo Spigariol, Giovanni Onore and Gianfranco Bologna, …
 
The presentation, which should have taken place live with an audience, was transmitted on the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche online platform on 20 November 2020 and on 18 February 2021 on YouTube from the Tipoteca of the publisher Antiga Edizioni to students from the high schools in the province of Treviso.  All the higher secondary schools in the province have received a donation of three copies per class.