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BNDES signs R$ 6.6 million agreement with Acre’s Ashaninka People


• Project funded by the Amazon Fund is the first conceived and submitted directly by indigenous people. Document was signed on April 16

The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) signed a R$ 6.6 million agreement with the Ashaninka Association of the Amônia River within the scope of the Amazon Fund.

The operation was approved in February 2015, and the agreement, signed on April 16 at the Bank’s headquarters in Rio de Janeiro not only by the Vice-President Wagner Bittencourt, but also the Managing Director of the BNDES’ Environment Division, Mr. Henrique Paim, and the President of the indigenous association, Moisés Piyãko.

This is the first project conceived and submitted directly to the Amazon Fund by an indigenous community, with no involvement of the public sector or NGOs.

In the pioneering operation, the BNDES’ team in charge of the Amazon Fund, together with Ashaninka indigenous representatives from the state of Acre, reviewed the different steps of the Alto Juruá project until it was finally approved.

The Ashaninka people from the Amônia River live in the Apiwtxa village (Apiwtxa, in their native language, means “union”), which is part of the Indigenous Land (TI) known as Kampa on the Amônia River. This Indigenous Land – located in the city of Marechal Thaumaturgo, bordering Peru and next to the Alto Juruá Extraction Reserve – constantly faces deforestation and environmental degradation.

The project comprises efforts to benefit not only the Ashaninka people, but also other indigenous and non-indigenous communities near the Kampa TI on the Amônia River, which covers a cluster of protected areas.

The goal is to promote agro-forestry management and production within communities in order to provide a sustainable economic alternative to deforestation, in addition to supporting territorial monitoring and control initiatives and strengthening local organization in the Alto Juruá/Acre region.

The initiative approved by the Amazon Fund will benefit 720 people on the Kampa TI on the Amônia River, including 600 from the TI on the Breu River and 50 communities from the Alto Juruá Extraction Reserve, as well as six Peruvian Ashaninka communities. Completion is set for 36 months.

Strategy – It took three years to conceive the project, which is part of the Ashaninka people’s strategy to protect their territory and natural resources. The Ashaninka people understood the efforts together with surrounding communities as an opportunity to mobilize partnerships and minimize threats to the region.

The proposal concerns a different territorial approach to combat deforestation on indigenous land and includes support efforts aimed at strengthening indigenous presence.

Amazon Fund –
The Amazon Fund, with non-reimbursable resources, supports efforts to prevent, monitor and combat deforestation, as well as to promote preservation and the sustainable use of forests in the Amazon Biome.

The project with the Ashaninka people on the Amônia River is the fifth to receive support from the Amazon Fund, exclusively focusing on supporting indigenous communities, totaling R$ 75 million in financial collaboration, in addition to the R$ 14 million benefiting indigenous communities from a further eight projects.

Moreover, the Amazon Fund issued a public call-for-submission to select projects aimed at preparing and implementing Territorial and Environmental Management Plans (PGTAs) on Indigenous Land in the Amazon Biome. The call-for-submission was carried out in partnership with both the Ministry of the Environment and the Brazilian Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI).

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