This blog was written by our partners at Parceiros Pela Amazônia (PPA) and translated from its original Portuguese.
Forest Trends’ Communities and Territorial Governance Initiative (CTGI) in partnership with Greendata – Socioeconomic and Environmental Management and Innovation Center and the Partners for the Amazon (PPA) are implementing members of the Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation in the Amazon (PCAB) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Together the consortium developed the project “Our Forest, Our Home – Tupi Mosaic” with the organizations and economic initiatives of eight Indigenous territories (IT) in the in the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso in the Brazilian Amazon,: Igarapé Lourdes, Kwazá do Rio São Pedro, Rio Branco, Rio Mequéns, Roosevelt, Sete de Setembro, Tubarão Latundê, and Zoró.
The IT of the Tupi Mosaic encompass more than 21 indigenous peoples, speaking more than 16 different languages, most of which are Tupi. Due to the number of peoples speaking Tupi, and the concept of mosaic attributed to the concept of governance among so many groups, the name “Tupi Mosaic” was chosen for our area of work. This territory is currently gaining new members and is increasingly called the Tupi Guaporé Territory.
The main objective of the Our Forest, Our Home project is to strengthen the capacity of the indigenous peoples of this territory, covering approximately 1.5 million hectares, to develop economic initiatives that align forest conservation and the strengthening of indigenous cultures.
The project has three main components designed from participatory workshops with the communities and consider indigenous economy and well-being (or buen vivir). Component 1 is based on strengthening indigenous economic initiatives and developing socio-biodiversity value chains to promote income generation and support the implementation of their Life Plans. Component 2 is related to the strengthening of territorial economic governance, with a goal to balance the indigenous internal economy with the external, market-based economy, in accordance with the National Policy of Indigenous Environmental and Territorial Management (PNGATI). Component 3 aims to connect indigenous initiatives with business partnerships that can be formalized and respect the principles of fair and ethical trade, ensuring solid and lasting relationships.
Starting with co-design workshops with the IT in 2019, this work has enabled the Project to confirm the priority value chains for action: açaí, Brazil nut, artisanal crafts, and cocoa. We are currently developing work with 68 initiatives, which are part of 41 organizations, formal and informal.
More than 59 workshops have been held to date, including those focused on co-design and evaluation of the economic dynamics of IT, enabling the production of robust reference materials about these IT. After the arrival of the pandemic and its limitations, most of the work has been occurring remotely, through virtual communication with the communities, and adaptated methodologies to advance to new stages. The current stage of strategic analysis and planning is focused on the Training Program in Territorial Economic Governance, new commercial partnerships, and the maintenance and expansion of direct and indirect support and investments in indigenous economic initiatives, thus guaranteeing good project progress and constructive and promising relationships with the economic initiatives of each IT.