Sustainable Juruti Institute Strengthens Partnerships in the Legal Amazon

2nd Juruti Sustainability Meeting featured latest developments, including field results

December, 2022 / January 2023 — Sustainable Juruti Institute partners visited agroextractive settlement projects located in the Prudente Monte Sinai, Curumucuri state, and the Jará environmental protection area. The goal was to carry out a technical assessment of the activities implemented in those territories. 

The visits overlapped with the second Juruti Sustainability Meeting, attended by more than 330 people from different sectors, including public authorities, municipal government representatives, project beneficiaries, community leaders, and local association representatives. During the meeting in late November 2022, the Sustainable Juruti Bank (BANJUS) launched its first call which focused on associations, cooperatives, small businesses, and family farmers, as well as other initiatives.

Participants included representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Brazil) and other implementing partners, as well as INGÁ Project beneficiaries. INGÁ is an acronym for Sustainability and Management Indicators in the Amazon. 

The INGÁ project promotes the conservation of biodiversity resources through territorial management and socioenvironmental entrepreneurship, thus strengthening local development in the municipality of Juruti. It is implemented by the Sustainable Juruti Institute (IJUS) with investments from USAID, Alcoa, the Alcoa Institute, the PPA, the Vitória Régia Institute (IVR), and the Brazilian International Education Institute (IEB), in addition to local partners.

The results include the delivery of 26,300 seeds to local farmers, a seedling nursery, four irrigation systems, and the creation of the Indicators Observatory. They carried out two socioenvironmental diagnostics, in addition to georeferencing studies in 27 hectares of agroforestry systems (AFSs) and 39 hectares of preservation areas. 

The event enabled Catherine Hamlin, Director of the USAID/Brazil Environment Program,  to validate the interventions and learn from the producers. “I was impressed by how much those community members were engaged during the Sustainability Meeting. They showed much interest, asking many questions. Their voice is very important, as it can reveal their needs and priorities. During the visits, I enjoyed seeing the implemented projects, including the AFSs,” she said.

Adeílson Souza, a farmer and beneficiary from the Batata community, spoke about his achievements since the commencement of the project “We are happy to work together with partners such as USAID, the PPA, and the IJUS Board. This project is very good and will be successful. Thanks to the project, we are now growing watermelon for our own consumption, as well as papaya, which is already bearing fruit. We will soon be adding other crops to supplement our income, such as gherkins, pumpkins, and passion fruit.”

Luciano Andrade, another grantee who lives on the Varre Vento ranch, in the Jará protected area, talked about his life before the project: “We used to plant cassava and just leave it there. If it rained, fine. Otherwise, we would have to replant it. The INGÁ Project introduced new methods and ideas, and we have replicated those processes for cassava, açaí, and other crops,” he said.

Denyse Mello, PPA project manager, highlighted the importance of the visit. “The first phase of the project is about to end. We have come here to evaluate its performance through the eyes of beneficiaries, local partners, and the project team, as well as to identify whether its desired results were satisfactorily achieved. We also took the opportunity to discuss Phase 2 with our partners. I would also like to add that we were very happy to participate in the 2nd Juruti Sustainability Meeting, promoted by IJUS, as it gave us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community and contribute to the discussions on the role of partnerships for the development of the Amazon.”

IJUS director Gustavo Hamoy stressed the importance of engaging with beneficiaries. “A highlight of our INGÁ monitoring visits was when we, the IJUS Board, together with our external partners, such as USAID and the PPA, had a chance to hear and see, with our own ears and eyes, how critical the project has been for local communities, and how much impact it has had on their daily lives. It was very gratifying to share this moment with them.”

Learn more about INGÁ at PPA and IJUS.