Territorial development in the Amazon

?Now things will move forward. Women are banding together with willpower to make their dreams come true. This is an opportunity for women to build ways to earn their own income. We want to see ASMAMJ grow, just as ASPROC grew”, commented Jucicleide Coelho Figueiredo, member of the Supervisory Board of the Association of Agroextractivist Women of the Middle Juruá – ASMAMJ.

In 2017, Sitawi started the Middle Juruá Territory Program (TMJ), an international cooperation funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and partnerships with Coca-Cola Brasil and Natura.

With this support from USAID, the Program presupposes a close collaboration with the members of the Forum Território do Médio Juruá. This group includes corporations (Natura and Coca-Cola), NGOs and local companies (Association of Rural Producers of Carauari - ASPROC; Association of Agroextractivist Residents of the Uacari Sustainable Development Reserve?AMARU; Association of Extractive Residents of the Community of São Raimundo -AMECSARA ; Association of Agroextractivist Women of the Middle Juruá?ASMAMJ; Sustainable Amazon Foundation?FAS; Mixed Cooperative for Sustainable Development of the Middle Juruá Reserve?CODAEMJ; Açaí Tupã, among others) and government agencies for environmental protection (Chico Mendes Institute of Conservation of Biodiversity?ICMBio and Department of Climate Change and Management of Conservation Units, State of Amazonas?DEMUC), in addition to Sitawi herself, who coordinates the project and plays the role of Executive Secretary of the Forum.

The objective of the program, which lasts for 3 years, is the conservation of biodiversity, implementing a Territorial Development Plan for the region, involving a broad base of stakeholders to expand the scale and impact of conservation and development initiatives in the dimensions social, environmental and economic.

Since its inception, the Program has been pioneering and participatory. The program's priorities and needs in the region were evidenced from the measurement of the Social Progress Index - Communities (IPS), applied in the region since 2015 based on a joint initiative by Natura and Coca-Cola. The index is based on the methodology developed by the American professor and economist Michael Porter and measures social progress without considering economic factors. The application in Carauari is unprecedented in the world as it uses primary data to assess socio-environmental development at the local level. With the diagnosis, prepared with technical support from Ipsos, companies, government agencies, NGOs and social movements were able to align investment efforts in the region.

According to an analysis of the areas with the greatest gap between the Brazilian average and the local result, priorities were outlined in a series of participatory workshops that brought together public authorities, the private sector, civil society and representation of riverside communities. Based on these local demands, Sitawi prepared the technical and financial content, following a co-creation process with all the actors involved.

?The entire development of the project was carried out based on the demands of the populations. The project has the potential to be transformative in the region to empower communities and serve as an example of how sustainable value chains can conserve biodiversity and drive social development in the region. This should be a milestone for other regions of the Amazon.?, says Rob Packer Territorial Programs Manager at Sitawi and coordinator of the initiative.

USAID's investment of US$ 2.3 million – in addition to counterparts of the same amount – will be earmarked for actions in education, sanitation, energy and information infrastructure, access to drinking water and studies on sustainable production chains in the region, such as açaí, andiroba and murumuru. Activities also include the sustainable management of pirarucu, conservation of chelonians, support to consolidate a rural family home, environmental education, agroforestry systems and the piloting of waste management, energy and communication systems in the region.

For the implementation of the Program, Sitawi has a team in Carauari which, together with the Rio de Janeiro office, is responsible for articulating the project, coordinating activities and reports, evaluating results and supporting local organizations. The goal is to leave a legacy for the Middle Juruá that strengthens and empowers everyone who is from the region or works there.   

?The process of territorial development in the Middle Juruá draws a trajectory rich in collective work, but above all in learning for the various institutions committed to the social impact of riverside communities. The arrival of Sitawi allowed for a more careful look at the materiality matrix of the territory, facilitating the collegiate management of actions in infrastructure, education, access to water and production chains in our partnership with USAID?, points out Luiz André Soares, from Coca-Cola Glue Brazil.

?The Middle Juruá is an important socio-biodiversity hub and Natura has been working in the region since 2000 by supplying socio-biodiversity ingredients. Do we want to articulate more and more actors in a network, with each ? local leaders, civil society, companies ? bringing its best to the collaboration and joint creation of sustainable business alternatives for the forest. Did the entry of Sitawi and USAID and the start of the Medium Juruá Territory Program strengthen this process of collective empowerment?, analyzes Luciana Villa Nova, from Natura.

?For us at USAID, it is a great satisfaction and an honor to collaborate with Sitawi, Coca-Cola, Natura, the Brazilian government and local communities in the process of territorial development in the Middle Juruá. This partnership reinforces USAID's environmental vision of building a better future for people and biodiversity, encompassing economic prosperity, social equity and environmental protection. It also reinforces the commitment of the peoples of the United States and Brazil to the management of Protected Areas, the conservation and monitoring of Amazonian biodiversity”, Anna Toness of USAID.

Learn more about Sitawi's Territorial Program Coordination here.

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