In 2020, the Sitawi continued operating in the Amazon through the Middle Juruá Territory Program (PTMJ). Initially scheduled to end in June, the Territorial Program, which was heading into its third and final year, had its duration extended by 6 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The postponement and closure in January 2021 were essential for the conclusion of the projects' field actions, ensuring time for a safer resumption of activities in the communities.
Funded by USAID and supported by Natura and Coca-Cola, and in partnership with members of the Middle Juruá Territory Forum, the PTMJ worked on several fronts in promoting a Territorial Development Plan for the Middle Juruá region, in the state of Amazon. The program was Ecuador Prize finalist, organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), receiving international recognition for the positive impact results in the territory where it operated.
Within the Program, the production chain of vegetable oils increased its production capacity, reaching a total volume of 14 tons and benefiting 2,500 people, including riverside and indigenous people. The sustainable handling of pirarucu was also positively impacted, creating job and income opportunities. Around 91 tonnes of pirarucu were caught, generating an average income of R$ 2,455.97 for 209 riverside families in the Middle Juruá. Sustainable fishing developed and encouraged in the region, respects the limits of exploitation of this species and contributes to the conservation of others in the management and preservation lakes. Consequently, the pirarucu and some chelonians present in the region, such as the Amazonian tortoise and the tracajá, were also preserved.
The Program also coordinated studies on the effects of climate change in the socio-biodiversity of the Juruá River, to investigate the potential impacts of climate change on the local ecosystem and on the life of the population residing in the territory. Also in 2020, the Program took a simple and economical solar energy technology to the region, through an action by the organization liter of light, in partnership with ASPROC, to improve the quality of lighting through the provision of clean energy in riverside communities. More than 120 residents of local communities benefited.
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