Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and sustainable use into Non Timber Forest Products (NTFP) and Agroforest Systems (AFS) production practices in multiple-use forest landscapes of high conservation value.
The Amazon, Caatinga, and Cerrado biomes are renowned for their outstanding global biodiversity significance but currently under threat from increasing land use pressures across production landscapes. Small farmers and traditional populations may have a key role in conservation once the maintenance of their livelihood is strictly related to environmental services' functionality. Enhance governance and community capacity building in activities that involve up-scaling best practices for conservation, sustainable management and production, restoration areas, products processing, and market, financial and policies access are the practices here described that are assuring sustainable development.
Reconciling economic and conservation objectives in a sustainable manner is a major issue addressed by the Project. Despite changes in socio-environmental policies that negatively affect traditional populations, Brazil is implementing several bioeconomic policies aimed to support biodiversity use. But, to assure the inclusion of local communities in bioeconomic circuits and its contribution to biodiversity conservation, environmental services production, and effective increase of their livelihood and income, there are several technological, capacity, market, and financial constraints that need to be understood to be removed. Only by understanding and removing these constraints, will be possible to make an effective response to the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs targets, and those are the objectives of this Project.
Considering the constraints faced by local communities to achieve sustainable development, the project was designed to contain a set of practices that encompassed the problems faced by local communities in production systems, in the processing and commercialization of products, and access to credit and public policies. Within these lines of action, social, cultural, educational, health, clean energy, environmental, economic, and inclusion of young people and gender issues were also addressed as transversal to each of the themes to incorporate the SDG agenda into the project.
Considering an average investment of 166 USD per family, per year, we developed a series of socioeconomic and environmental diagnoses throughout NTFP and AFS productive chains to identify bottlenecks, opportunities, and to define the baseline of the Project for further monitoring. Jointly with local communities, technicians, extensionists, researchers, teachers, students, and other beneficiaries, we built a program of training in the lines of actions of the project: productive systems, products processing, commercialization, and access to credit and public policies. All activities were planned to achieve the local community’s independence and replicability of actions, considering local communities’ knowledge and validation of traditional practices in the training process. To tackle constraints in productive systems, we developed and applied a series of training in biodiversity conservation, species and ecosystems management, and ecological restoration to produce agrobiodiversity products with environmental value aggregated to the products. To aggregate sanitary and nutritional values to processed products, we trained communities in the internalization of the good practices manufacturing and worked on developing new products and processing practices, developing new equipment, and regularization of cooperatives and products. Considering market access, we mapped institutional and conventional markets demands and promoted communities’ products to access these markets. Here, we also established local, regional, and national centers of commercialization (physical and online stores). To tackle financial and policy constraints, we mapped credit and public policies existing and established partnerships with stakeholders to promote the communities' access to these policies.
We have installed 72 apprenticeship units, 3 reference centers, and 3 networks of young popular communicators. In the training program, we involved more than 3,000 people (43% women and 57% men), mapped 9 productive chains, and developed 10 studies of land use and levels of sustainable exploitation. We also developed 3 land management plans and established 6 land and water agreement use. These activities resulted in an average reduction of 84% of fire’s focus within the territories, and more than 1 million hectares under sustainable management, which contributed to an average increase of 30% in productivity and 40% in family income. We also got more than 2 million BRL in credit for communities, developed 4 new products, 4 new equipment, 22 labels and labeling, and improved 6 processing products, that contributed to SDG implementation. It means, instead of mitigating or alleviating poverty, we are strengthening social, cultural, environmental, and economic community richness.
The project's success is based on community involvement. This was made possible by gathering scientific and traditional knowledge in solving problems faced by communities. Thinking about problems holistically and planning and acting systematically, was the key to solve them. Once this conceptual model was established, all actors involved were able to identify the importance of their work and their role in the development of the project. Therefore, we overcame most of the constraints faced by local communities, especially those related to changes and extinctions of Brazilian Government policies that used to benefit traditional populations.
The Reference Centers established throughout the development of the project will sustain the results of all the practices developed. These centers, managed and supported by local communities in conjunction with family farmers' schools, are now qualified to train other agroextractivists, students and local technicians in the project's lines of action: conservation, management, and restoration of agro-ecosystems; product harvesting and processing; commercialization; and access to credit and policies. Thereby, ensuring not only the replication of those activities but also the implementation of the SDGs within their and to other territories. Investing in the development of local capacities, recognizing traditional knowledge, and integrating it with scientific knowledge to solve local problems is to provide an opportunity for the independence of these communities and to rescue part of the abandonment and forgetfulness to which these traditional populations have been subjected worldwide.
Since the arrival of COVID-19 in Brazil, we have stopped all field trips to prevent the spread of the virus, as there are no hospitals or health facilities in the territories. However, we maintained close contact with the communities to monitor the impacts of the pandemic. To provide quality information on the care that must be taken to mitigate contamination in the production systems, processing, and commercialization of products, we promoted several virtual training courses to approach these issues. Also, we establish an online training program with supporting material in the project’s line of action, which are available online. For doing so, we promoted internet access for the digital inclusion of our beneficiaries and their products, to ensure a rapid post-pandemic resumption.
SDGS & Targets
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Deliverables & Timeline
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Practice implemented at the sub-national level within six citizenship territories in the Amazon (Alto Acre e Capixaba and Marajó), Caatinga (Sertão do São Francisco and Sobral) and Cerrado (Medio Mearim and Alto Rio Pardo) biomes.