Peabiru Profile - Summary English version October, 2011I. Introduction The Instituto Peabiru (Peabiru) is a Civil Society Organization of Public Interest - OSCIP, established in 1998 with headquarters in Belém, Pará, Brazil, concerned with the socio-economic and environmental issues related to the long-term sustainability of the Brazilian Amazon, in particular those encountered in the Eastern part of the Brazilian Amazon (states of Pará, Amapá, and Maranhão). Recognizing the Amazon Tropical Forest significant environmental as well as economic potential due to its, biodiversity, natural and water resources, Peabiru is concerned with the impact of the existing model of economic development being implemented by the Brazilian government in the region, which in essence and in spite of progress made, is still socially exclusive as well as it is still based on the old concept of deforestation, and slash and burning practices, as a symbol of economic development and growth. II. Background Since the 1960’s the Brazilian government started to encourage economic expansion in the Amazon, being the above-mentioned states its most important front. By the end of the 1980’s it became clear that the rate of deforestation by slash-and-burn caused by the increased economic activity was having a global impact on climate change. The major contributors being the amount of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) produced by burning the forest, and the methane gas (CH4) resulting from cattle ranching one of the largest economic activity encouraged by early government policies. Deforestation also has a negative impact on biodiversity, and the forest capacity to absorb CO2 emissions.
Today, the economic expansion continues tapping on the region’s rich naturalassets with mega-projects such as mining, or agricultural plantations such as palm-oil for the production of bio-fuels, or eucalyptus for the production of celluloseand bio-fuels, which are starting to replace the pastures for cattle.Parallel to the economic expansion, the Brazilian government also encouraged themigration of over one million poor people from other regions; many became ruralsettlers (Meirelles, 2003). This had an environmental as well as a social impact, asstrategies to provide access to basic services or economic opportunities were notan important part of the policy. Therefore, new migrants as well as traditionalcommunities, such as Indigenous Groups, Afro-descendents (Quilombolas),Riverside Communities (riberinhos), and Peasants (agricultores familiares), are stillliving in a subsistence and informal economy, based on deforestation and theexploitation of natural resources. They are being excluded from the potentialbenefits of the economic expansion, by lacking access to: a) basic services(education, health, electricity, transport etc.); b) land security; c) access to marketsand economic opportunities; d) and technical knowledge and capacity to benefitfrom potential participation in the formal economy, etc. Women and youth areeven more excluded than men from the enjoyment of those benefits, as they haveeven less access to resources compared to men.Peabiru is concerned with the impact the current economic development has onthose already excluded social groups, particularly those living in the rural areas,the potential increase on land conflict and other social and environmental impactscaused by the economic activity of mega-projects.III. Peabiru’s ApproachFor Peabiru the current economic development paradigm, needs to change to aparadigm based on conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, whileaddressing the socio-economic and environmental inequalities and exclusion,affecting the life of the traditional Amazonian rural communities. As anorganization we value equity, social and environmental diversity. We believe we
can play a role as facilitators of processes of transformations, that can take placewithin communities, civil society organizations and enterprises, striving to addressexclusion and inequality. We also believe in participatory decision-making, andanalytical reflection for the collective construction of those processes, and inrespecting communities “time”.Our purpose is to work alongside communities and local civil society organizationsto increase capacity to exercise full citizenship, as part of their humandevelopment process, and enjoy the benefits of a sustainable economic modelwhile promoting the conservation of the forest. Peabiru also seeks to work withthe private sector, as we believe they must play a role in the development ofstrategies seeking to address the socio-economic and environmental impact of theeconomic activities.Currently, Peabiru is addressing the issues that concern the organization throughthree main programmes: 1) Sustainable Local Development and Protected Areas;2) Corporate Social Responsibility; 3) Inclusive Value Chains.IV. Peabiru’s Thematic Areas of Work1. Sustainable Local Development and Protected Environmental AreasPeabiru believes in working with communities in the design and implementationof sustainable local development plans, based on the Agenda 21 methodology,which take into consideration, protected environmental areas surrounding theirterritories and/or settlements. An empowering process for communities throughwhich they identify, seek and negotiate solutions to their socio-economic, culturaland environmental issues and needs, acquire voice, claim rights, and monitor theimplementation of the plan. The purpose of the process is to increaseunderstanding of current constraints limiting their lives, the capacity they have toaddress those limitations, the potential entailed in solidarity to achieve change andto positive impact of a sustainable use of protected environmental areas. Themethodology used promotes local dialogue, participation in decision-making, andnegotiation processes with institutions, such as local government, enterprises, and
other stakeholders impacting on the quality of their livelihoods and their access tonatural resources.By working in this theme Peabiru, aims to contribute to strengthening thecapacities of local communities to attain control over the quality of theirlivelihoods, effectively participate in the design, implementation and monitoring oflocal development plans; while strengthening their capacity to achieve asustainable use of those environmentally protected areas, surrounding theirterritories and/or settlements.
The main programs in this area of work are Viva Marajó and Casa daVirada:Viva Marajó:The Marajó Archipelago located in the state of Pará is one of the most chronicallypoor areas of Brazil. The programme aims to contribute to the consolidation of theMarajó Archipelago, as an environmentally protected area, by supporting theprocess of nomination, as an UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve, a proposal of theBrazilian government. This means the special social, territorial, and costalecosystems of the region are internationally recognized, while remaining undersovereign jurisdiction. The Biosphere Reserve concept is normally used as aframework to guide and reinforce projects to enhance people’s livelihoods andensure environmental sustainability. The Biosphere concept includes four mutuallyreinforcing functions: conservation; cultural valorisation; sustainable developmentand logistic support for scientific research and education.Viva Marajó is a programme funded by Fundo Vale, with the main purpose ofimproving the quality of life, biodiversity conservation, and culture of localcommunities, while promoting sustainable development strategies, and makingemphasis on the high value of the social and environmental biodiversity containedby the 104,000 km2 (the size of Portugal), and over half a million population, ofthe Marajó Archipelago. Due to its special characteristics the conservation of thisregion is of extreme importance to the long sustainability of the Amazon, and toclimate change.Casa da Virada:The municipality of Curuçá is also chronically poor, and as candidate for the futureconstruction of two seaports, will experience a major environmental as well associal impact. Concerned with the potential impact of mega-projects, Peabirucoordinated Scientific Research to identify the main socio-economic andenvironmental issues facing the municipality of Curuçá. Then started the Casa daVirada programme, its purpose being to work with traditional communities livingaround the Resex Mãe Grande de Curuçá, a marine extractivism reserve (aconservation unit permitting local population to access its resources) in improving
their quality of live, increasing environmental awareness and sustainable use ofthe Resex.During the last few years the main programme activities included: 1) working with52 rural communities in the launch of an Agenda 21 Forum; 2) working with thelocal public school to offer a course for the formation of environmental agents,with the participation of 120 students; 3) working with the development of twoinclusive value chains: a) Community-based-ecotourism (together with the localNGO Instituto Tapiaim); and b) honey production from the non-sting wildAmazon bees encountered in the area with the local association ASMELC; and 4)Conducting further scientific research that led to the discovery of a newecosystem: an Amazon Atlantic Forest biome between the mangroves and theland forest.The next face of Casa da Virada financed by Petrobras aims to work, inpartnership with local communities and organizations in the Costal Region of theAmazons, in local development strategies related to the conservations of waterresources, mangroves, and the newly identified Amazonian Atlantic Forest whilevaluing the traditional use and management of the natural resources.2.Corporate Social ResponsibilityPeabiru believes that to address the current trend of deepening poverty andexclusion and increasing environmental degradation globally, and in the EasternAmazon, resulting from dominant business models should be a concern for all.Therefore, the Institute considers essential to engage with the business sector asthe main actor benefiting from this model of development. The business sectorneeds to engage, take responsibility, and contribute to finding effective solutionsby working in partnership with civil society organization, communities and thegovernment.This area of work aims to contribute to: a) the effective application of theconcepts of social and environmental responsibility giving priority to promotingdialogue between companies and communities around business units; b) thedevelopment of a monitoring systems based on socio-economic and
environmental indicators aiming to measure the social and environmental impactof enterprises economic operations, with the active participation of communitiesand companies in the development and application of those indicators; c)incorporation of gender issues in companies policies and practices (the genesis ofinequality and un-sustainability); d) conflict resolution mediation, facilitating thedialogue between companies and local communities; and e) implement actions tohelp controlling biodiversity loss and combat climate change. The focus is on thosemega-projects in the Amazon, such as mining, agribusiness and infrastructure(hydroelectric dams, ports and roads).
There are two ongoing initiatives:1. Sustainable Palm Oil Programm in partnership with Agropalma,1since 2007.This programme has two main projets: 1) the development of a participatorymonitoring systems to measure the impact of the business relationship between150 small scale agricultural producer’s families suppliers of the palm-oil fruit toAgropalma. The monitoring system is based on socio-economic andenvironmental indicators identified by the small-scale palm-oil producers;2) Local development of Vila dos Palmares, Local Agenda 21 methodology wasused to develop a community based action plan for Vila dos Palmares. The actionplan is envisioned as a negotiating tool to increase communities’ capacity to claimrights. The action plan is based on research to create baseline data and communitydiscussion by identified priority themes by the community. Vila dos Palmares is acommunity where its 8 thousand people are directly affected by the economicactivity of the company. Other initiatives of this programme have involved thestrengthening of local associations operating within the company.Scientific Research for Petrobras BiocombustivelPetrobras Biocombustivel is initiating operation in the production of biocombustibles in the Amazon Region. Peabiru carried out Scientific Research tomap the current Social, Archaeological and Environmental (hydrology, flora,fauna, soil microbiology etc.) situation of the area where PetrobrasBiocombustivel2(Bio-combustible) is starting economic operations related to theproduction of bio combustible from palm oil. This research aimed to provide thecompany with baseline data for the development of indicators aiming to guide thepolicies and operations of the enterprise activities in the region in order tominimize the impact of its economic operation.Research for Amata Brasil3: This research aimed to have a rapid assessment of theenvironmental and social issues this last based on secondary research to contribute1 Agropalma belongs to a Brazilian Group. It is the largest palm oil industry in Brazil, with approximately 39,000hectares of palm (within a total 107,000 hectares), circa 4,200 employees.2 Petrobras Biocombustivel is a new company created in 2008 as part of the largest company in Brazil, the state-runPetrobras.3 Amata Brasil is focused in planting 1 million native trees/yr on degraded areas in the Amazon and other regions ofBrazil.
to the creation of baseline data of the geographical areas of operations of thecompany.Peabiru has also carried-out short tem projects with other companies such asAlcoa, Albras (Norsk Hydro), Natura Cosmetics and Sambazon.3. Inclusive Value ChainsPeabiru believes that strengthening the active economic participation of excludedrural communities in the development of inclusive chains valuing biodiversity andsocio-environmental resources contributes to the long-term sustainability of theEastern Amazon Region.Peabiru works with a broad concept of inclusive value chain development, whichconsider five core dimensions: 1) Economic: the ability to earn an income, toconsume and to have assets which are all key to food security, material well-beingand social status; 2) Human capacities: technical capacity, and access to basicservices such as health, nutrition, clean water and shelter; 3) Citizenship: voice andability to influence policies and processes; 4) Cultural: valorisation of its ownculture, both material and in-material; 5) Environmental: ability to valuebiodiversity and natural resources and their own culture while participating as avalued member of a community.The aim is to have impact beyond income increase, seeking more economiccontrol to change the balance of power in the value chain while strengtheningorganizational and development of human capacity and agency.Currently, Peabiru is involved in: 1) the development of two value chains: - honeyfrom the Melipona bees native to the Amazon (non-stinging-bees); andCommunity-based-ecotourism; 2) Value chain research of traditional Amazonianproducts. In the near future, based on this research, Peabiru hopes to work inother value chains related to the biodiversity of the Amazon; 3) Cattle value chainand climate change, is and activity in its initial stages. Peabiru seeks to influencepolicies and practices to turn cattle production in an activity more environmentallyfriendly with less impact on climate change.
Community-based EcotourismAn economic activity aiming to work with communities in strengthening theircapacity to address the, above-mentioned, five dimensions entailed in our conceptof value chain. Peabiru see this work as an opportunity to develop humancapacity, environmental awareness, cultural and resource valorisation, whilecreating new business opportunities to generate complementary income whereparticularly, women and young people are involved. Accessing markets for thisactivity is a challenge for communities; therefore, Peabiru works in partnershipwith ethical business initiative, such as Gabiraba Station (Belém, Pará State) andTurismo Consciente (Conscious Tourism) (São Paulo, São Paulo state). Thesebusiness initiatives are interested in opening this niche market and connecting it torural communities in Curuçá, Almeirim, Marajó and Monte Alegre (around theMonte Alegre State Park), in the state of Pará.Melipona Bees Native to Amazon ForestThe aim of this economic activity is to work with local communities in the Statesof Amapá and Pará in the development of a value chain for the production of ahoney from the Melipona Bees native to the Amazon and one of its most activepollinators. This initiative also seeks to develop human capacity and increasecommunities understanding of the value that conservation of natural resourceshas for their livelihoods. As part of the training on Meliponiculture, communitiesreceive environmental education. This provides an opportunity to discussdeforestation and burning, its impact on the bees, biodiversity and pollination.This is also an opportunity to reflect on the communities increase capacity togenerate income and food security as production of forest food increases as aresult of the bees’ pollination activity. This programme is especially focused onworking with women, and young people, Quilombolas and indigenous people, asthese social groups are the most economically and socially excluded in the region.Currently, Peabiru is working with more and 350 families, organized in groups orassociations, living in communities in Amapá state (Quilombolas and four nationsof Indians at the Oiapoque Indian Land), and family agriculture in the Pará state.
Cattle value chain and climate changeAmong those chains being studied Peabiru is particularly interested in the cattle &buffalo ranching value chains for its impact on the environment and climatechange. According to the Centre for International Forestry Research at least 91%of the deforested land since the 1970’s has become pasture for livestock, mainlycattle ranching (CIFOR, 2004). Apart from the negative contribution to climatechange by producing carbon and methane gases, cattle ranching in the Amazonprovide few jobs, while demanding large amount of land due to its poor soil.Therefore, Peabiru is seeking strategies to influence changes in this value chain inthe geographical areas where we work. A background working paper on theimpact of cattle production on climate change and the deforestation of theAmazon was published in July 2011.Peabiru is interested in influencing policies aiming at the development ofsustainable cattle value chain. We are also exploring possibilities to work withsmall-scale cattle producers with particular attention to the Marajó Archipelago.The aim is to develop work with communities engaged in this economic activity tofind more sustainable and practical solutions to the way they produce andparticipate in the chain, in order to reduce the negative impact on climate changeand the environment.Value Chain ResearchPeabiru is engaged in researching four value chains in the Marajo: Açaí berry(Euterpe olereacea); Artisanal fishing; manioc flour from bitter cassava (Manihotutilissima) and cattle & buffalo ranching in the Island of Marajo. All these productswhere identified by communities as their main source of income during a researchprocess, they are also closely linked to the current socio-economic andenvironmental situation of the Marajo Archipelago. Apart from mapping thechains, Peabiru is interested in understanding the conditions and issues faced bycommunities, and the benefits it brings or not to their livelihoods.IV. Partnerships and Resources
Working with other is an essential part of Peabiru approach. In theimplementation of Peabiru programmes and other activities the Institute seeks todevelop partnerships with communities, the business sector operating in the EasterAmazon; local and international research institutes and universities (MuseuParaense Emílio Goeldi - MPEG, Federal University of Amapá - UNIFAP, FederalAgricultural University of Pará – UFRA; The Royal Tropical Institute - KIT, and theErasmus - ISS, in the Netherlands etc.)Peabiru’s work is financed from different sources ranging from direct financing ofprogrammes by the business sector (Agropalma, Petrobras Biocombustivel,Natura, Alcoa, Albras (Norsk Hydro) etc.), international and local fundinginstitutions such as Fundo Vale, Petrobras Ambiental, Conservation International,The Nature Conservancy, the Embassy of the Netherlands small projects, KonradAdenauer Foundation, Avina Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, Kunito MiyasakaFoundation (Brazil), São Paulo Stock Exchange (Bolsa de Valores Sociais &Ambientais), Criança Esperança (UNESCO & Rede Globo), World Bank Program(PPP-ECOS Cerrado - World Bank (Savannah)), and Brazil Tourism Ministry.
V. Networks Networking allows the Institute to actively participate in animate debates seeking solutions to its main concern: the long-term sustainability of the Amazon. Peabiru is active in: AVINA network of partners; GERCO - Brazilian Network of Coastal Management; Sustainable Amazon Forum (Fórum Amazônia Sustentável); and is currently involved in the development of the Marajó Network of Civil Society Organizations (Rede Marajó da Sociedade Civil), among others. VI. Governance Institute Peabiru is governed by a General Assembly, of its members, meeting twice a year; a Board of Directors, meeting regularly; and a Management Group composed by the general director and programme managers. João Meirelles is the funder and General Director of the Institute. Contact: email@example.com and mobile - +55.91.9144.7566II. References Centre for International Forestry Research - CIFOR 2004 Instituto do Desenvolvimeto Econômico-Social do Pará - IDESP, 2010 Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística – IBGE, Census 2010 Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome. November 2010 Meirelles, João, Livro de Ouro da Amazônia, Ediouro, Rio de Janeiro, 2003 (2nd edition 2007)