IEB promotes expert discussion rounds for Verde para Sempre community members involved in community forestry

Six communities within the Verde para Sempre Extractive Reserve, located in the northern state of Pará, are pioneers in Community Forest Management, and have already influenced companies that purchase wood from the community to seek certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). 

Community members are supported by the PCAB through the Brazilian International Education Institute (IEB in the Portuguese acronym) with technical cooperation from the US Forest Service. The project has facilitated and built their capacity, resulting in sales of 25,000 m³ of timber in two harvests. They are now strengthening their management capacity focused on production and management processes, as well as their marketing strategies. 

 On June 13, 2019, Verde para Sempre association and cooperative leaders gathered in Porto de Moz for a Round Table Discussion with Brazilian experts in pricing and certification of the forest management value chain to explore the market challenges for timber and non-timber forest products.

Bianca Ambrósio, from BVRio – an NGO that uses big data to help identify illegal timber – shared her experience in valuation based on geographic coverage.

The exchange of experiences also included a development analyst from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an accreditation organization for forestry certifiers and helps them to better manage the timber value chain: “The FSC system can be used as a cross-cutting tool to add value to forest products in a number of well-recognized areas, including environmental, social, economic, managerial and commercial aspects," explained Fernanda Vaz, who also presented the results of studies carried out with certified organizations on their perceptions regarding the supply policies of certain Brazilian market sectors and the profile of Brazilian consumers.

Maria Creusa is the chairperson of the recently created Floresta Sempre Viva Mixed Agroextractive Cooperative (COOMAR, in the Portuguese acronym), which brings together 80 cooperatives from four communities that manage the extractive reserve. 

She pointed out that one of their challenges is "the need to coordinate actions so as to develop funding mechanisms that will enable communities to cover their production costs with their own resources (i.e., working capital). Once they have that, they will be able to demand fairer prices for their products, and reduce the problems they face when interacting with service providers.” 

Thus, at the next agroforestry harvest (2019-2020), Verde Para Sempre members will have access to Brazil’s National Family Agriculture Program (PRONAF) funds, designed to support small producers. This new arrangement, negotiated with Banco da Amazônia with the support of the IEB and the Conexsus Institute, will offer borrowers a better deal. This will be one of the topics to be discussed at the last Formar Gestão round, which will take place from July 22 to 26 in Porto de Moz. 

According to Katiuscia Miranda, IEB Project Coordinator, the discussions helped to consolidate a strategy to improve commercial relations: “The way forward might be through the organizational strengthening of this group within the Resex, as well as coordinating actions with specific markets that show interest in valuing the purchase of forest products.”

Miranda is responsible for Formar Gestão de Empreendimentos, a project developed by the IEB in partnership with the US Forest Service and several institutions to expand the  management capacity of communities at Verde Para Sempre and their fair access to markets.