By Isabele Goulart
Edited by Samuel Simões Neto
Translated by Felipe Sá
This July, Idesam’s Carbon Neutral Program team was at the Uatumã Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS, in Portuguese) to carry out the monitoring activities of the plantings made in the beginning of the year and also to monitor the Agroforestry Systems (SAFs, in Portuguese) already implemented in previous years.
The six-day long expedition visited four communities of the Uatumã Reserve: Nossa Senhora do Livramento, Santa Luzia de Caranatuba, Santa Luzia do Caribi e Nossa Senhora do Perpétuo Socorro (Maracarana).
During the expedition, 18 families that participate in the program and cultivate SAF in their lands were visited. Besides monitoring the development of the plantings and registering the areas, the visits had the purpose of keeping in touch with the families of the Reserve and understanding a bit more of what has changed since the beginning of the activities.
When interviewing Ernesto de Souza, one of the beneficiaries of the program, he highlighted the importance of the initiative to improve the local means of production and also to add to the mitigation of the climate change. “Today, I have a forward-looking vision. I know that by doing this (SAF), I am helping several people, not only the ones who are around me.”
Resident of the Santa Luzia do Caribi community, Ernesto has been part of the Carbon Neutral Program (PCN, in Portuguese) since 2016. Since then, he has planted more than 1,500 seedlings in degraded areas and has already begun to prepare the areas to be planted next year.
The monitoring activity is part of the annual calendar of PCN’s activities which, by the beginning of 2019, should plant over 10 hectares of SAF in degraded areas inside the Uatumã RDS.
“It is important to maintain the execution of the pre-planting activities schedule in order to ensure the best use of the rainy season and make sure that the seedlings will survive after the areas are implemented”, says Jefferson Araújo, technical manager of the planting and maintenance activities of the Reserve’s Agroforestry Systems.
The follow-up of the families and of the results after the planting is one of the Carbon Neutral Program foundations, and it is also an activity of extreme importance in order to maintain the initiative succeeding. The contact with the families participating in the program has been intensified so that they have full understanding of the positive impacts they are making in the reserve.
Seedling nurseries in expansion
Another activity that was also carried out in July by Idesam’s team was the monitoring of the four seedling nurseries located in the reserve. This seeks to ensure that, by the end of the year, PCN’s entire demand for seedlings is fulfilled by the families of the Uatumã RDS.
In 2010, when PCN was created, all the seedlings were brought from outside since there was no availability within the RDS. The planting of 2019, on the other hand, will be done 100% with seedlings produced within the Uatumã. “The purchase of seedlings also help improving the local economy”, explains Jefferson Araújo.
The estimation is that more than 16,000 seedlings will be produced until the end of the year, of which 7,000 are already in the early stages of development.