The SDGs are a global commitment aimed at achieving transformative change at all levels of society. Aligned with this, BAM seeks to contribute to transforming the world towards a more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable one through its projects.
In a world facing increasingly pressing challenges in terms of poverty, inequality, environmental degradation, and climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have emerged as a comprehensive and ambitious roadmap to transform our planet and improve people’s lives everywhere. Established by The United Nations in 2015, the SDGs represent a call to global action and an invitation to work together to build a fairer, more equitable, and sustainable future.
The following article details how the REDD+ Brazil Nut Concessions (REDD+ BN) conservation project developed by BAM, in collaboration with more than 700 Brazil Nut-producing families in Madre de Dios, aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals.
A Look at the Sustainable Development Goals
The SDGs, also known as Agenda 2030, are a set of 17 interconnected goals addressing a wide range of global challenges. Each goal has specific targets aimed at addressing the most pressing issues of our time, from eradicating poverty to promoting gender equality, taking climate action, and ensuring access to education and health.
As established by The United Nations website, here is the list of the official SDGs:
SDGs in Action: BAM’s Impact with the REDD+ Castañeros Project
Following BAM’s steadfast mission to safeguard and revitalize the invaluable ecosystems, with the fundamental purpose of mitigating the ramifications of climate change, preserving the Amazon’s biodiversity, and catalyzing sustainable development in Peru, the REDD+ BN conservation project seeks to fulfill as many SDGs as possible. This holistic approach reflects BAM’s and REDD+ Brazil Nut Concessions project’ commitment, translating into close alignment with multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among which the following stand out:
REDD+ Brazil Nut Concessions promotes initiatives that aim to increase the economic capacity of the Brazil Nut-producing community through access to various sources of income in conservation and sustainable forest management activities (such as increasing the value of Brazil Nut harvesting and generating other income sources related to agroforestry projects, reforestation, sustainable use of non-timber forest products, among others).
Additionally, the project distributes economic benefits directly to Brazil Nut-producing families from the sale of carbon credits generated through their conservation efforts. To date, the project has distributed more than $10 million among partner families.
REDD+ BN supports its partners in implementing strategies to strengthen Brazil Nut production and commercial capacity, promoting the development of projects/initiatives such as Brazil Nut reforestation, organic certifications, value-added product generation, sales strategies, and more. Additionally, REDD+ BN seeks to promote the development of other sustainable productive activities in projects like the implementation of agroforestry systems (with Brazil Nut, plantain, açai, copoazú, etc.), providing food and greater economic support for Brazil Nut-producing families.
The project aims to develop initiatives to improve the basic needs of the Brazil Nut-producing community. For example, REDD+ BN has launched a Brazil Nut Producers University Scholarship Program in collaboration with the National Amazon University of Madre de Dios (UNAMAD), with the aim of providing partners and their families with access to quality education for their development and well-being. These initiatives promote the project’s long-term sustainability impact by involving new generations of Brazil Nut-producing families. More detail here!
REDD+ BN promotes the participation of women Brazil Nut producers in all its activities. Women represent 37% of the project’s partners, and they also make up 33% of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Brazil Nut Producers of Madre de Dios (FEPROCAMD). Furthermore, 41% of the project’s staff hired to carry out its activities are women. Thus, gender inclusion policies are integrated into the operation of all BAM projects to promote an environment of equity and freedom from violence.
Likewise, to reduce gender gaps, the participation of women is ensured in training on various topics related to the sustainable management of their concessions, fire prevention, leadership and soft skills, among other topics. Additionally, through the Brazil Nut University Scholarship Program, an additional incentive is provided so that young women have greater opportunities to study, understanding that there is a higher dropout rate in the female population. As a result of this measure, in the first edition of the Scholarship Program, 2 of the 3 winners are young women, daughters of Brazil nut partners.
Decent work and economic growth
The project contributes to the decent work of all its members, safeguarding the livelihoods of small producers and supporting their economic growth and that of their community through Brazil Nut marketing and the development of other sustainable activities related to conservation and forest management. Efficient project forest protection contributes to partners being able to optimally utilize Brazil Nut, ensuring their long-term subsistence. In addition to the benefits received through all project activities, Brazil Nut producers receive economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits to boost the economic growth of their families.
Through REDD+ BN, the land rights of small producers are protected, and the necessary means and support to defend their concessions against illegal usurpation are provided. The project implements a monitoring, control, and surveillance system to prevent, identify, and halt threats of deforestation and/or forest degradation in the area, using technological tools (GPS, Apps), and satellite data (GIS).
The project has a permanent technical and legal team dedicated to forest protection and the well-being of concessionaire partners to ensure optimal forest management. For example, REDD+ Castañeros provides land management and demarcation services to define and maintain area boundaries and maintain a forest inventory, providing the community with tools for proper area management.
Additionally, REDD+ BN provides ongoing training workshops aimed at strengthening the community’s capacity for sustainable forest management, area monitoring, the use of technological tools, and other activities that allow them to improve their quality of life, promoting long-term development.
Responsible production and consumption
The sustainable harvesting of Brazil nuts contribute to reducing deforestation of the rainforest. In this sense, the project not only provides support to concessionaires for the protection and adequate management of their areas, but also provides permanent training workshops to all partners regarding sustainable forest management and other related topics, seeking to improve the community knowledge and skills in forestry and wildlife conservation.
Regarding the production and commercial of Brazil nuts, the project develops productive and/or commercial initiatives that seek to improve the socioeconomic situation of the Brazil nut sector without harming the environment. For example, the project supports dealers in obtaining organic certifications and in generating value-added products (in alliance with CITES), which allows them to gain competitiveness and sell their products at a higher price in the market. To date (November 2023), the project has helped in the consolidation of the Association of Organic Brazil nut Collectors of Madre de Dios (ARCOMAD), which has obtained organic certification for Brazil nuts, following national (Peru), European and American standards. Likewise, training workshops and technical assistance continue to be provided to participating partners, as well as participation in other events such as internships and business conferences.
Since its beginning in 2009, the REDD+ BN project has avoided deforestation of ≈ 3,000 hectares per year and the emission of ≈ 2.5 million tCO2e/year, safeguarding one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. The execution of all its activities promotes optimal forest management and the promotion of conservation, the proper use of forest resources, and wildlife protection.
Life on land
Among other initiatives, the project conducts biodiversity assessment and monitoring expeditions as part of BAM’s Science Program, which aims to assess the ecological value and importance of Brazil-nut ecosystems. This program brings together experts from leading institutions in the major branches of zoology and botany (prestigious institutions such as the San Diego Zoo, CORBIDI, the Natural History Museum of the University of San Marcos, and the National Agrarian University La Molina) to conduct ongoing biodiversity assessments that allow us to understand the health of the forests where Brazil Nuts grow.
Community involvement is essential for the project, which also encourages the community to participate in biodiversity monitoring expeditions led by scientists and researchers who share their study methods, evaluation, and knowledge of natural diversity.
Looking to the Future: Agenda 2030
As we move towards 2030 (Agenda 2030), commitment to the SDGs is more important than ever. Despite challenges, the movement towards a more sustainable and equitable world is gaining momentum. The SDGs remind us that our individual and collective actions have an impact on the world around us.
Bosques Amazónicos (BAM) is committed to continuing to contribute to the world’s transformation towards sustainability. The SDGs are a call for collaboration, innovation, and shared responsibility. By working together, we can turn the vision of the SDGs into reality, creating a world where all people have the opportunity to thrive and where our planet is a healthier and more sustainable place for future generations.
It is important to mention that in September of this year, several high-level meetings will culminate in the 2023 SDG Summit during the UN General Assembly, which will address the impact of the multiple and interconnected crises facing the world and provide high-level policy guidance on transformative and accelerated actions leading up to the 2030 deadline for achieving the SDGs.
More about REDD+ Brazil Nut Concessions project
The REDD+ Brazil Nut Concessions conservation project developed by BAM works hand in hand with over 700 partner Brazil Nut-producing families in Madre de Dios to protect over 500,000 hectares of forests and their extraordinary biodiversity.
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