The initiative is being carried out in the Gregório River Extractive Reserve in the state of Amazonas, with the intention of supporting community empowerment, improving basic infrastructure, boosting income generation and enhancing the health and education conditions of the 224 families living in the reserve.
Twenty-seven communities, 224 families and around 1,015 people, living in an area of 477,042 hectares… These figures help give an idea of the daily challenges faced in the Gregório River Extractive Reserve, which include insufficient financial resources for management and supervision, a fragile extractive economy and a lack of social development policies. It is in this context that Fundo Vale is supporting a project here, in partnership with the Sustainable Amazon Foundation.
The project, which began in 2023, will work to combat extreme poverty through five pillars: multi-dimensional family support, community empowerment, income generation, community infrastructure, and environmental monitoring. To this end, over the course of two years, there will be a series of activities, including training to strengthen community-based social organizations; meetings to encourage the participation and training of young leaders; support for improving community infrastructure; and training for family farmers, extractive producers and artisanal fishermen, using applicable techniques and technologies, with a view to reducing costs and improving occupational health and safety.
“It’s important to map public policies for access to education, health and income. Our job is to get to know these people’s routines in order to bring them closer to these public policies. We will work with the public authorities to bring basic solutions to these areas,” says Mônica Fonseca, Fundo Vale’s business promotion and partnerships analyst.
This initiative is part of Vale’s Social Ambition, announced in 2021, which aims to lift 500,000 people out of extreme poverty by 2030. This commitment is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 1, and it adopts an understanding of poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon, considering an
approach focused on multidimensional family support, based on five dimensions: education, income, health, nutrition, and infrastructure. The focus is therefore on families, monitoring and harnessing public policies and social programs existing in each location, verifying the impacts on daily life and the situation of vulnerability identified, and recognizing different incidences of deprivation in urban, rural and forest contexts.
Proofs of concept are currently being carried out in the states of Pará, Maranhão, Amazonas and Rio de Janeiro. The project conducted by the Sustainable Amazon Foundation is part of this portfolio.
Through this partnership, the Sustainable Amazon Foundation, Fundo Vale and Vale hope to open up broad dialogue with government bodies, civil society institutions and other companies. The idea is that Fundo Vale’s experience and connections with businesses with positive social and environmental impacts will help generate income for these communities. The project is aligned with Fundo Vale’s Theory of Change and Vale’s sustainability commitments. It also has the catalyzing potential to generate income for traditional forest communities and improve the quality of life of important forest guardians, who will keep these areas protected, with low-intensity exploitation.
Severe drought in the Amazon
Faced with an unusually severe drought in Amazonas, the second worst in 13 years, according to the National Amazon Research Institute (INPA), remote communities such as those in the Gregório River Extractive Reserve are even more vulnerable. This is because droughts hinder river transportation and consequently access to food, health and education, which are already limited. This situation further underscores the importance of actions to tackle the climate crisis and combat poverty by expanding social protection initiatives and adapting sustainable solutions for riverside groups, such as those already being carried out by the project.
About the Sustainable Amazon Foundation
The Sustainable Amazon Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works for the sustainable development of the Amazon through programs and projects in the areas of education and citizenship, health, empowerment, research and innovation, environmental conservation, community infrastructure, entrepreneurship and income generation. The foundation’s mission is to contribute to the biome’s conservation by harnessing
preserved forest and its biodiversity and improving the quality of life of the Amazon’s people. In 2023, the institution turned 15 years old and it was able to celebrate some notable results, such as a 202% increase in the average income of thousands of families benefiting from its projects and a 40% drop in deforest