Fundo Vale and Embrapa took part in first meeting of Model Agroforestry Systems to Combat Hunger and Climate Change, an initiative in Maranhão, as well as a workshop with Belterra in Curitiba  

Photo: Publicity photo, Embrapa 

Model Agroforestry Systems to Combat Hunger and Climate Change, a project run by the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency, Embrapa, and supported by Fundo Vale, recently held its first meeting in the municipality of Amarante, Maranhão, in the Araribóia indigenous territory, which is home to members of the Guajajaras indigenous people. The aim of the event was to discuss different options for production schemes in the territory, taking into account traditional knowledge and experiences of farming and forest conservation systems. 

In addition to Embrapa and Fundo Vale, the meeting featured representatives of the Ministry for Indigenous Peoples, the Amarante Municipal Agriculture Secretariat, the National Indigenous People’s Foundation (FUNAI) and the Tukàn Institute. It was also attended by prominent local leaders, including members of the Committee of Leaders of the Araribóia Indigenous Territory, the Tenetehar-Guajajaras community, the Maranhão State Union of Indigenous Farmers and the Indigenous Forest Guardians Group. 

These leaders presented the challenges faced in their territory, addressing various aspects, including infrastructure, road conditions, the availability and quality of seeds and seedlings, and environmental issues such as the protection of springs and riparian vegetation. Based on these reports, strategies for soil and water conservation were discussed, as well as the possibilities for implementing organic and agroecological production systems and forest restoration strategies. 

“The initial meeting exceeded our expectations, going beyond technical proposals for model systems that can help communities produce sustainable food, as it helped foster links between different groups within the indigenous territory itself, bringing together different communities, representatives and leaders to discuss shared local issues,” said Marcelo Francia Arco-Verde, head of Embrapa’s forests division in Colombo, Paraná and the project’s coordinator. 

“For Fundo Vale, it is extremely important to support initiatives like this, involving the design and implementation of model production systems. We understand that in order to achieve the restoration component of our Forest Goal, it will be necessary to evaluate various combinations of arrangements featuring agroforestry systems, which result in food and climate security in each location,” said Liz Lacerda of Fundo Vale’s Partnerships and Business Promotion Area. 

* Source: Embrapa’s website  

About the project 

Faced with the need to strengthen sustainable production systems, in July 2023 Fundo Vale formed a partnership with the Brazilian government’s agricultural research agency, Embrapa. By training technicians and family farmers, the Model Agroforestry Systems to Combat Hunger and Climate Change project aims to help spread and expand the adoption of these systems, which can contribute to soil and water conservation, an increase in organic matter and greater carbon fixation and balance in the management of species, while also yielding environmental benefits, leading to more resilient and sustainable agriculture in light of climate change. 

The partnership with Embrapa will also support the impact businesses encompassed by the restoration component of Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal (which aims to restore 100,000 hectares of habitat) through training sessions, technical visits and monitoring of financial, social and environmental indicators using the AmazonSAF tool, created by Embrapa based on model agroforestry system designs developed in the project. 

Workshop in Curitiba with Belterra 

Between April 15 and 17, Fundo Vale and Embrapa joined Belterra at a workshop in Curitiba to provide an update on the progress of environmental restoration initiatives associated with Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal and carried out in partnership with the company. Belterra shared lessons learned from the work done and presented its strategy for 2024. 

“Embrapa’s participation in the workshop was essential to learn more about how Belterra has been working to make sustainable agroforestry businesses viable and have an impact on society. Another aim of the meeting was to understand agroforestry systems’ different possibilities and how they can generate impact and promote biodiversity beyond planting. It was a moment of valuable sharing and learning,” said Juliana Saliba of Fundo Vale’s Business Promotion and Impact Investing Area.