Forest Economy

Socioproductive Units

The infrastructure that ensures major advances in the Forest Economy (Active Forest) revolve around the Socioproductive Units, a long-term strategy that PSA established in 2013 to boost the various economic activities of the riverside communities of Western Pará.

The Socioproductive Units are hubs where social technologies are created and tested to then be implemented by the communities. Such experiments are diversified and interdisciplinary, but share a focus on environmental conservation, social inclusion and increased family income.

This strategy is not limited to the assisted populations. All that is produced within the Socioproductive Units may be expanded to any other area of the Amazon Forest, in either isolated communities or non-isolated communities.

Active Forest Experimental Center (CEFA)

The first Socioproductive Unit built by PSA was the Active Forest Experimental Center (CEFA), inaugurated in 2016 in the Carão Community at the Tapajós-Arapiuns Extractive Reserve (Resex) – the most populated Resex in Brazil, with approximately 22,000 residents from approximately 70 communities, occupying an area of 650,000 acres. Created from the combined efforts of PSA, Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) and the Organization of Associations of the Tapajós/Arapiuns Resex – Tapajoara, as well as local residents and associations, CEFA is the cradle of the Active Forest Program, coordinated by PSA.

CEFA is a modular space that integrates permaculture and agroecology demonstrative units, in addition to offering the surrounding community an ongoing and diverse program of courses and trainings, which functions as technology training center for institutional and community events.

CEFA is also a demonstrative example of bioconstruction, with energy efficiency, adequate waste treatment, use of daylight and natural ventilation, and reuse of rainwater. With this, the facilities have a low environmental impact and value the knowledge of native people.

Jaguari Ecoproductive Hub and Forest Economy EcoCenter

Drawing on the experiences at CEFA, PSA is working on two more Socioproductive Units: the Jaguari Ecoproductive Hub, located in the Tapajós National Forest (Flona) which will promote non-timber productive chains in the region; and the Forest Economy EcoCenter, a showroom in the city of Santarém to market what is produced in the two hubs. Through this, Active Forest works to increase revenue from biodiversity products.

The construction and management of the EcoCenter will involve partnerships with the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), City Governments, the Organization of Associations of the Tapajós/Arapiuns Resex (Tapajoara), the Association of Rural Extractive Producers on the Left Bank of the Tapajós (Apruspebras), the Flona Tapajós Federation, the Flona Tapajós Mixed Co-op (Coomflona), the Santarém Rural Workers Labor Union (STTR/STM) and ACO, among other entities.

See also

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.
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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.
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