Forest Economy – Active Forest

Active Forest is a platform for socio-economic opportunities aimed at the sustainable management of the forest, strengthening productive chains that make the best use of the Amazon’s potential for agroecological and forestry projects, bioeconomy and environmental services. Such activities help to mitigate deforestation and CO2 emissions and, at the same time, promote food security, income increase and social inclusion of the involved communities.

The historical economic basis of traditional Amazonian communities includes hunting, fishing, extractivism and subsistence agriculture, generally with little circulation of money. This model has been pressured by new economic cycles (based on monoculture, mining and logging), which, in the way they are implemented, have increased the processes of predatory occupation and deforestation instead of improving the socio-economic development rates of the region.

The Amazon has the potential to supply the country with its natural resources, but new references are needed for a future-focused economy that sees the the environment as potential and not an obstacle. That is, a standing forest economy. Our country is one of the largest holders of natural assets on the planet; 60% of the Amazon biome is located in Brazil, with significant socio-cultural diversity. Additionally, Brazil is gaining strategic importance in a context of climate change, low carbon economies and international agreements for the distribution of benefits biodiversity and ecosystem services.

If managed in a sustainable way, these resources can ensure Brazil’s and the planet’s future. However, the current system must give way to more efficient, modern and environmentally friendly practices, producing more with less land and less deforestation.

The PSA initiatives in this area focus on sustainable entrepreneurship, seeking to promote the community-based forest economy in regional development, aimed at increasing riverside families’ income from the better use of agroextractivist products, family farming, bioeconomy and environmental services. This work assures good management of natural resources, lands and the standing forest.

Partnerships and Participating Populations

In partnership with local organizations, Active Forest focuses on the extractive rural populations in Agroextractive Settlement Projects (ASPs), Conservation Units (CUs), Indigenous Territories (ITs) and Quilombola Territories (QTs) of Western Pará, one of the Amazon regions with the most increased deforestation, forest fires and socio-environmental conflicts.

Socioproductive Units

A long-term strategy to boost the various economic activities of the forest people: hubs where social technologies are created and tested – to then be implemented by the communities. The first was the Active Forest Experimental Center (CEFA), and two more are underway: the Jaguari Ecoproductive Hub and the Forest Economy EcoCenter.

Agroecology and Repositioning of the Forest

The support for implementation of sustainable agricultural models ranges from the distribution of fruit and forest species seedlings to providing technical advice to producers, including practical training. The project aims to restore degraded areas in the communities and, at the same time, strengthen family farming.

Sociobiodiversity Chains

The communities are integrated into the socio-biodiversity product market through actions that cover the entire production chain: diagnosis of demands and potential supply; combining of innovative and sustainable practices with traditional knowledge; structuring of business plans; marketing support; among others. The most promising areas are meliponiculture, production of oils and essences and organic agriculture.

Community and Artisanal Tourism

Tourism and artisanal production are always considered from socio-cultural environmental approach. By developing community-based tourism, the people take ownership of the Amazonian tourist industry, ensuring it is ecologically correct, economically viable and socially fair. Boosted by this tourism, handicrafts are enhanced through a revival of traditional techniques, with the sustainable extraction of raw materials and support of entrepreneurship.

Renewable Energies

Essential for quality of life and the forest economy, electricity in the communities uses photovoltaic systems adapted to their reality. Polluting and expensive diesel-fueled generators are replaced by systems that transform sunlight into clean energy and the communities receive training to maintain and self-manage their electricity systems.

Socioenvironmental Business Incubator

The startup incubation model is adopted so that the projects promoted by Active Forest result in a solid, autonomous and long-term expansion of the Forest Economy. Professional courses and training are also offered in several areas, in addition to workshops for the development of proper technologies.


Active Forest has the financial support of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), with resources from the Amazon Fund. Approved on July 24 of 2018, with an execution deadline of 36 months, the project has an estimated total investment of R$ 12,493,011.

The collaboration of the Amazon Fund/BNDES is linked to sectorial counterpart agreements, such as the Mott Foundation (Renewable Energies), Avina Foundation (Water), the Ministry of Citizenship (Sanitation) and Caritas-Switzerland (Youth Entrepreneurship), other than smaller ones. From 2020 on, we will count on the support of “Criança Esperança”.

Access the project’s financial cooperation agreement here.

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“CEAPS” – The Center for Advanced Studies on Social and Environmental Promotion, a non-profit civil institution founded in 1985, legally represents PSA.
You may support this project in many different ways: by making direct donations, donating materials and equipment, or through volunteer work.

Projeto Saúde & Alegria © 2020

Agência Fervo

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