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Workshop on sustainable business plans in the Brazilian Amazon

Planos de Negócios Sustentáveis para Produtos da SociobiodiversidadeWorkshop participants doing group work.

Conservação Estratégica (CSF-Brasil) led a workshop on sustainable business plans for products from the Amazon. The aim was to create an open-space for dialogue on possible ways to support the development of sustainable businesses and the strengthening of their value chains in the Brazilian Amazon.

Twelve representatives of institutions that work in this area were present including the Avina Foundation, Fundação Amazonas Sustentável (FAS, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation), Fundação Vitória Amazônica (FVA, Vitória Amazônica foundation), Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation), Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation), Instituto de Desenvolvimento Agropecuário e Florestal Sustentável do Estado do Amazonas (IDAM, Institute of Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry of the State of Amazonas), Instituto de Conservação e Desenvolvimento Sustentável do Amazonas (Idesam, Institute of Conservation and Sustainable Development of Amazonas), Instituto Internacional para Sustentabilidade (IIS, International Institute for Sustainability), Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia (Imazon, Institute of Man and Environment of Amazonia), Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM, Institute of Environmental Research of the Amazon), Pacto das Águas (Water Pact) and Rare.

The workshop provided a rich exchange of practical experiences and an update on the current situation and challenges for these businesses. The group discussed some of the bottlenecks - such as precarious infrastructure and restricted access to market information, financing, and training in production and management best practices - and possible ways to overcome them.

Planos de Negócios Sustentáveis para Produtos da SociobiodiversidadeParticipants preparing their results' presentation.

During the workshop, participants prepared parts of a business plan for two products: cockles (marine mollusk) from the Pirajubaé Extractivist Reserve in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina state, and dehydrated Brazil nuts from the Unini Extractive Reserve, in the Amazon state. Groups first analyzed the operational, market and financial issues of the potential businesses, and then generated proposals and reflections on production, organization and marketing strategies. Each group was focused on promoting the sustainability of these community value chains.

This workshop was a critical input to our guide to participatory development of sustainable business plans for Amazon products. This publication will share the accumulated knowledge of CSF-Brasil on the structuring of business plans in traditional Amazonian communities, in order to facilitate the replication of these by other institutions. Thus, the last stage of the workshop was the synthesize the recommendations and suggestions for improvement from the participants.

This initiative was conducted in the scope of the "Biocultural Conservation of the Amazon Rainforest - Preventing Deforestation in the Karib and Mondé-Kawahiba Ethno-environmental Corridors" project, as part of the Amazon Corridors Initiative (ICA), thanks to the support of the Skoll and the Avina Foundations.

Photos credit: Marion Le Failler.