Partnership for tackling deforestation in the Amazon
Since 2001, the large municipality São Félix do Xingu in the state of Pará, Brazil has had one of the highest rates of deforestation in the Amazon. In 2008, the Brazilian government added the municipality to its blacklist of areas with the highest rates of deforestation – meaning that farmers were blocked from accessing credit for cattle ranching and other related activities. With a cattle population 18 times larger than the human population, it’s easy to see what the main driver of deforestation in this area is.
The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with Marfrig Global Foods and Walmart, has been working since 2009 on projects reinforcing sustainable livestock practices in the area – involving local governments and farmers in developing a beef traceability platform called “From Field to Table.” Other activities promoted by TNC and partners also involve indigenous engagement, women empowerment, REDD+ strategies, diversification of small-holder agriculture through agroforestry on degraded pasture and strengthening local governance. Through these projects, TNC is promoting improved pasture management and alternatives to cattle ranching in order to halt deforestation in São Félix do Xingu.
The Sustainable Landscapes Pilot Program, as this collection of work is called, aims to bring together different local actors from government agencies to indigenous peoples to create both a politically and economically favorable scenario for reducing deforestation in São Félix do Xingu. The program combines information-sharing and economic strategies with improved enforcement and compliance to environmental legislation, restoration of degraded land and promotion of alternative livelihoods to decrease deforestation while supporting local smallholders transition to a low-carbon economy.