In a region of the Brazilian Amazon known for its lush rainforest, spectacular white-sand river beaches, and pink dolphins, large-scale farming threatens biological diversity. In response to this threat, The Nature Conservancy is working with with soy farmers on an initiative that has the potential to conserve nearly 1.2 million acres of this important tropical forest.
Verifying Environmental Protection
In the initial phase of the project which began in 2004, four field teams comprised of Conservancy staff and partners utilized 108 satellite images and field visits with 300 small-, medium- and large-scale soy farmers to complete an environmental assessment that lays the groundwork for this initiative that will verify that soy has been cultivated in an environmentally sensitive way. Utilizing this assessment, they began a pilot project for environmental compliance with the goal of slowing rainforest conversion caused by large-scale farming.
Moving Sustainable Farming Forward
The pilot project evolved from working originally with 25 farmers to now encompass 210 farmers with the objective of helping them develop eco-friendly practices that abide with Brazilian environmental legislation. To move the initiative forward, the Conservancy and its partner have:
- Hosted a three-day workshop to help provide technical assistance to producers involved on the restoration of degraded areas.
- Continued to provide technical assistance to farmers to help them come into compliance with environmental legislation.
- In the coming months, the Conservancy will also update the assessment that was conducted in 2005 to have an up-to-date portrait of all producers in the region, especially those who recently entered into the project.
This initiative is a step forward in promoting environmentally and socially-conscious agricultural practices that help protect valuable Amazon forest habitat.