Pressroom  >  Press Releases  >  Forest Trends and GoSol.solar Announce New Partnership Connecting Indigenous Communities with Solar Technologies
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Genevieve Bennett

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Forest Trends has announced a new partnership with GoSol.solar in the Brazilian Amazon to empower indigenous people with sustainable solar technology.

GoSol.solar is an initiative of Solar Fire Concentration Ltd (SFCO), an impact-focused enterprise based in Tampere, Finland. GoSol.solar’s goal is to eradicate energy poverty, empower small and medium-sized enterprises with solar thermal, and minimize the damage of climate change by breaking down the barriers to solar energy access. They achieve these goals through an innovative business model by creating an eco-system of individual product pre-orders, early-adopters, sponsors, and collaborations.

Through our Communities Initiative, Forest Trends has partnered with the Yawanawa and the Surui people of the Brazilian Amazon to support them in the conservation of their forests and improved livelihoods. The agricultural expansion of soy production, cattle ranches and illegal logging for wood are rampant in the Amazon, but indigenous communities have been fighting against the loss of their forests. Forest Trends supports the communities in securing their rights, livelihoods and culture.

In cooperation with USAID and IKEA Foundation, Forest Trends supports the creation of supply chains that allow indigenous communities to market sustainable harvested forest produce. By supporting the sustainable production of for example roasted nuts, dried seeds and fruits, it becomes possible to leverage local and international markets to improve the livelihoods of the indigenous communities and strengthen their position to protect the forests.

The cooperation between GoSol, Forest Trends and the indigenous communities starts by identifying the most value-adding uses for solar thermal energy and how to best boost the local communities’ livelihoods. For many energy intensive processes, such as dehydrating, roasting and other food processing, the GoSol technology will allow the communities to tap into the free power of the sun, for processes for which they would have had to use firewood or rely on expensive electricity.

Once the first phase of the project is completed, the solution can then be scaled to support indigenous communities throughout the world’s rain forests to protect their livelihoods and enable sustainable supply chains. Partnership activities have begun as of October 2018 in the state of Rondônia, Brazil.