Webinar debates systematization of sustainable value chains in the Amazon

On the 26th, the Interelos Institute and the JBS Fund for the Amazon promoted a live event on YouTube to present the results of a study titled “Sustainable Value Chains: Inclusion and Community Autonomy in Amazonian Açaí”, prepared by Eduardo Nicácio and Mariana Chaubet. The main objective of the webinar was to address the systematization of sustainable production chains in bioeconomy, emphasizing the value of small producers and the preservation of the Amazon ecosystem.

The study illuminates the process of developing sustainable value chains, based on experience with extractive chains in the region and a notable emphasis on the principles of cooperation and community protagonism. Financed by the JBS Pela Amazônia Fund, the material brings together the best practices and lessons learned during the implementation of the “Sustainable Value Chains” Program, implemented by Interelos Institute in the region of the mouth of the Amazon River. It stands out as a valuable guide for sustainable progress, focusing on socio-environmental responsibility and improving the quality of life of the communities involved.

The webinar was led by Andrea Azevedo, representative of the JBS Fund for the Amazon, and included the participation of experts and representatives of socio-environmental organizations. Among them, Sandro Marques and Marcos Tadeu, from the Interelos Institute, the authors of the study Eduardo Nicácio and Mariana Chaubet. In addition, Adriana Barros, from the Research Working Group, also joined the discussion. bioeconomy from the organization Uma Concertação pela Amazônia, Luis Fernando Iozi, from Instituto Terroá, and Amiraldo Picanço, from the Amazonbai cooperative.

Opportunities and challenges of bioeconomy

The discussion addressed the relevance of bioeconomy, a field of study that analyzes the interaction between economy and environment, as a proposal to address pressing issues such as climate change, forest preservation, environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and the urgent need to promote sustainable development in the Amazon. As Adriana Barros emphasized: 

"The concept of bioeconomy has gained great evidence of opportunities, both in Brazil and abroad. This places us in a delicate moment, but with great visibility for this territory to the world, which opens up a range of opportunities. As the concept is recent, it puts us in the role of learning, because there is a lot of things being formed, consolidating in this process. Look at bioeconomy today it is about bringing practical and concrete consistency to represent the territory in which it operates and also bringing gains in scale, such as the development of acceleration and training programs.”

The specialist advanced on these topics, highlighting the integrative approach and optimistic vision that drive the advancement of bioeconomy.

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For Mariana Chaubet, co-author of the study, “this project began with a community protocol in 2013 in the Foz do Rio Amazonas region, with the communities of Bailique, in Amapá, and ended up becoming the program 'Inclusive Community Chains in Amapá', focused on the development of the açaí production chain, which culminated in the emergence of the Amazonbai cooperative. The study was funded to systematize these learnings with communities, using açaí as a case study, but pointing to other potential chains.”

Webinar “Sustainable Value Chains”

The systematization of experiences in the development of extractive chains, as documented in the study, was emphasized as an essential tool for building more efficient production chains and strengthening communities in managing their territories. The proposed challenge was to put into words the insights on building value chains in a more agile and economical way.

Eduardo Nicácio highlighted the importance of harmony between human beings and nature, and the need for critical reflection on actions in the Beira Amazonas territory. He highlighted that systematization is not limited to recording the past, but focuses on social and environmental advancement, with special care for people:

Systematization arises to critically reflect on what is being done today and project the future, not just making a portrait of what happened, but charting a course towards the objective.

Eduardo Nicácio

The document has been divided into four sections that cover the steps in the process of building a value chain, providing a step-by-step guide. The sections include: the study of human rights, the successes and challenges encountered, the areas for improvement identified, the methodologies applied, the strengthening of practices, the agroindustry and the lessons learned along the way.

“Reflecting critically on what is being done is an expensive issue, we spoke to many people to extract the truth from them to understand what was of value to them, social transformation and environmental transformation,” adds Nicácio. 

From extractivists to sustainable land entrepreneurs

The webinar also explored the importance of the community protocol as a document genuinely created by community members, containing specific guidelines and procedures to guide territory management. It was through this protocol that Bailique residents identified their desire to invest in the açaí production chain, demonstrating the strength of the local initiative.

Amiraldo Picanço, president of the cooperative amazonbai, shed light on the challenge of transforming extractivists into producers, owners and protagonists, highlighting the importance of adding value to products and promoting the participation of all links in the chain, as well as structured access to the market.

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Education emerged as a central theme in the discussions, with Andrea Azevedo provoking a reflection on effective educational models in the Amazon, aligned with social business and the growing need for training and training. Luiz Fernando Iozi, from Instituto Terroá, highlighted the essential role of education in connecting with the territory, in the development of youth and in creating opportunities and income. Marcos Tadeu, in turn, highlighted the urgency of attracting investments in innovation and research to achieve market competitiveness, consolidating the vision of a more prosperous and sustainable future for the region.

After a discussion that highlighted the challenges and opportunities in promoting sustainable value chains in the Amazon, the urgency of acting in favor of preserving the forest and stimulating economic and social development in the region becomes undeniable. The study “Sustainable Value Chains: Inclusion and Community Autonomy in Açaí Amazônico”, available on our website, offers precious insights for systematization that can be replicated in other chains and for the formulation of business strategies with a socio-environmental focus. 

And for those who want to delve deeper into this discussion and explore the ideas and solutions presented in more depth, the full webinar is available on Interelos Institute channel on Youtube. We invite everyone to get involved in this crucial dialogue for the future of the Amazon and the planet.

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