Supporting Climate-Smart Development in the Amazon
December 8, 2023
Local families and communities – many Indigenous – are bearing the brunt of extreme climate events, such as drought, floods, and fires, forcing them to adapt fast to changing conditions. At this moment, the Amazon is facing a severe drought that is impacting the health of the forests and local wildlife, increasing fire risk, and limiting access to clean water for local communities. If we do not address these conservation challenges locally, they will escalate to major events impacting not only the entire Amazon but the entire planet.
For this reason, an integral part of the work you make possible is prioritizing local needs in such emergencies and taking proactive actions to minimize the impact of future fires, droughts, and other climate-related issues. Your contributions strengthen our urgent work to address the impacts of climate, deforestation, and social and environmental injustices impacting Indigenous peoples and other communities in the Amazon. Thanks to these generous contributions from individuals like you, we are able to work on the ground and support these communities through difficult times as they strive to become more adaptive and resilient to climate change through our work in strengthening real-time monitoring, local response efforts, and sustainable forest health.
One way that you are helping meet local needs is by supporting local leader and Brazil nut harvester, Manuel Lima, from the Porvenir community in Pando, Bolivia, who has been a major force in the development of a major inter-institutional platform for producers and buyers called the Inter-Institutional Platform for the Articulation of Amazonian Fruit Production Complexes (or PICFA). PICFA aims to improve local producer incomes and producer associations by bringing together sustainable producers, buyers, governments, and other stakeholders across the Department of Pando in Bolivia.
PICFA was created following a climate change crisis in 2018 that impacted Brazil nut harvests in the Bolivian Amazon. At the time, local producers struggled to make an income and did not understand what was happening to their harvest nor what measures should be taken. In response to this situation, we supported the creation and strengthening of PICFA so producers and local leaders like Manuel can better understand the impacts of climate change on their harvest and how they can diversify their product, ultimately building climate resilience across the region.
Manuel has played an important role in developing and formalizing the sanitation and land titling processes for local producers. He also is a key representative of PICFA and Brazil nut harvesters, helping to improve the production, economy, and market for Brazil nuts both regionally and nationally. Don Manuel is also working hard to encourage future generations to support PICFA and continue to improve the local forest-based economy as a means to defend their territories and conserve their natural resources.
Supporting climate-smart and fire-free development in the Amazon helps local communities build sustainable development paths for themselves and provides an incentive to keep forests standing. Your support helps heroes like Manuel and his work with PICFA continue to train local producers about the impacts of climate change on their harvest and how to better diversify their production to become more climate resilient.