Biocultural Conservation of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest: Preventing Deforestation in the Karib and Mondé-Kawahiba Ethnoenvironmental Corridors

Reducing deforestation pressure in the Brazilian Amazon region is an enormous challenge for indigenous people, traditional communities and Conservation Unit (CU) managers. In order to tackle this challenge and to develop more efficient territorial protections, it is necessary to increase the resources and strengthen the abilities of these groups.

In this context, CSF-Brazil participated of the "Biocultural Conservation of the Amazon Rainforest" project, which aimed to improve livelihood and contribute to the prevention of deforestation in the ethno-environmental corridors of Karib and Mondé-Kawahiba, in Brazil. These corridors are made of CUs and Indigenous Lands (ILs) located in the states of Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia and Roraima. Together these corridors span approximately 46 million hectares of protected areas, representing 20% of the Brazilian Amazon.

Our goal was to contribute to the strengthening of the Sustainable Productive Activities (SPAs) conducted by local communities in order to give value to their practices and knowledge, generate income and conserve the environment. SPAs serve as alternative sources of income and are conducted in a social and cultural manner appropriate to the place. Specifically, CSF-Brazil conducted the following studies:

1 - "Lessons and Recommendations for the Economic Feasibility of Sustainable Businesses and Biodiversity in Protected Areas" (publication in Portuguese). In this study, we looked at the financial indicators of seven businesses - Brazil nut harvesting, timber management, fishing and ecotourism - and offered recommendations aimed to increase their profitability. We also presented our results during two events for indigenous people and other non-profit organizations.

2 - "Guide for the Participatory Development of Sustainable Business Plans" (publication in Portuguese). We systematized the steps of our methodology for developing sustainable business plans with indigenous people and traditional communities, aiming to promote the replication of this process by other institutions that work in this area. During the creation process of this guidebook, we conducted a workshop with representatives of these institutions to gather their recommendations and exchange knowledge and case studies about SPAs.

3 - "Sustainable Business Plan for the Paiter-Suruí People's Brazil Nut.” The goal of this business plan was to support the production and collective trade of Brazil nut, harvested on the Sete de Setembro IL of the Paiter-Suruí people, located between the states of Mato Grosso and Rondônia. We also provided assistance for the implementation of our business plan recommendations.

4 - "Feasibility Analysis of Investments in Transport Alternatives for Brazil Nut Production and Commercialization from two ILs of the Mondé-Kahawiba Ethno-environmental Corridors.” In this study, we analyzed transportation alternatives and proposed recommendations for greater efficiency of the internal trade of the Brazil nut’s production.

This project was part of the Amazon Corridors Initiative (ICA) and received the support of the Skoll and Avina Foundations. It has been conducted in collaboration with Equipe de Conservação da Amazônia (ECAM), Instituto de Conservação e Desenvolvimento Sustentável da Amazônia (IDESAM), Associação de Defesa Etnoambiental Kanindé and Associação Metareilá do Povo Indígena Suruí (Gamebey).

Photo: Half of a shell of Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), harvested by the Paiter Suruí people in the Sete de Setembro IL. The trade of this nut brings an important source of revenue to these people.
Photo credit: Fernanda Preto.