Strengthening biodiversity conservation in the Amazon: Middle Juruá Territory Program begins new phase

With an innovative model of intersectoral collaboration and local governance, the PTMJ develops initiatives with a positive socio-environmental impact on the territory and riverside communities

Shortly before 5 am, Dione Araújo de Medeiros, a mother of four, is already on her feet helping other women in the Xibauazinho community. They work in the logistics of pirarucu fishing and also in cleaning the fish before it is sent to the warehouse, receiving remunerated payment for the tasks. They are part of the sustainable fish management project in the Middle Juruá.

Meanwhile, in Manariã, a community about three and a half hours by boat from Xibauazinho, Francisco da Silva, known in the region as ?seo Bomba?, has already crossed by ?rabeta? (a wooden canoe with a gas engine) to the other side of the river bank. He went to the beach, where he takes care of the turtle nesting sites, as part of the monitoring program for the conservation of turtles, tracajás and iaçás. 

A little further away, in the São Raimundo community, young Maria Cunha Figueiredo feeds her daughter before heading to the telehealth center. There, he acts as a health agent, advising local residents, an activity he combines with that of a voluntary environmental agent and youth leader. 

Riparians like Dione, ?seo? Bomba and Maria live in communities in the Middle Juruá assisted in the second phase of the Middle Juruá Territory Program (PTMJ). The program aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the territory, of extreme ecological importance due to its continuous area of preserved tropical forest, offering sustainable livelihoods, well-being to traditional populations and conserving biodiversity. 

Expectations for the new cycle 

?In the first phase, the program gave opportunity to several young people, opening the doors to projects in their communities. Now we hope that youth is seen as a partner in the conservation of biodiversity and strengthening organizations?, says Maria Cunha when asked about what she expects from the PTMJ. 

The president of the Association of Agroextractivist Women of the Middle Juruá (ASMAMJ), Quilvilene Figueiredo da Cunha, says that the second phase of the program will further strengthen the initiatives of the communities. ?We want to strengthen entrepreneurship initiatives that help empower women. We learned that when training is offered for women to learn something new, they are empowering themselves, she says.

Already the president of Association of Extractive Residents of the Uacari Reserve (AMARU), Franciney de Souza highlights the importance of collecting seeds, such as andiroba and murumuru, and processing them to extract oils. ?This chain has great potential for residents here. Is it more income that goes into communities without degrading nature?, he says.

For Manuel Cunha, Manager of the Extractive Reserve (RESEX) Médio Juruá and resident of the São Raimundo community, the expectation is to continue the work already carried out, with emphasis on community organization. ?She is the base. If you don't have the community organization strengthened, the other things are house on sand: a windstorm can collapse?, he compares. 

With a strong history of social organization, the Middle Juruá communities develop, through local associations and cooperatives, actions in value chains and biodiversity conservation projects. They receive support from USAID, government institutions and companies, such as Natura. 

Despite the success of management and conservation of natural resources, there is still room for improvement. It is in this sense that the second phase of the PTMJ intends to emphasize, supporting the strengthening of product chains in the Middle Juruá, fostering local entrepreneurship – with emphasis on women – and increasing sustainable management and territorial protection actions. 

Learn more about PTMJ!  check out here the video produced especially for this new stage! 

Text: Luciana Constantino
Photos: Bruno Kelly

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