17 October 2023

Alliance to Reduce Deforestation and Promote Low Carbon Livestock Farming in the Transamazonic Region of Pará State


Alliance to Reduce Deforestation and Promote Low Carbon Livestock Farming in the Transamazonic Region of Pará State

Result of a partnership between Solidaridad, Imaflora and Proforest, Transamazonica Connections programme promotes multisectoral coordination in the region.

Municipalities in Pará which are cut off by the Transamazonic Highway, especially in the south-east of Pará, are among the most deforested and emit the most GHG. Photo: Solidaridad Foundation

With the climate emergency intensifying on the planet, initiatives to reduce deforestation in the Amazon and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are becoming increasingly urgent. In the case of the Brazilian portion of the biome, specifically in the south-east of Pará, the major challenge is linked to the change in land use by cattle ranching. And it is in this area, on the banks of the Transamazonica Highway and where the most deforested municipalities are concentrated, that the Transamazonica Connections programme is being implemented.

The result of a partnership between the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) Fundação Solidaridad, Instituto de Manejo e Certificação Florestal e Agrícola - Imaflora and Proforest, with the support of Neste - which represents the private sector - the initiative aims to develop a more sustainable and inclusive landscape in the municipality of Novo Repartimento.

Lasting until 2027, the proposal is to replicate the model created in the municipality - whose cattle farmers are mostly family-based and specialise in calf production - to others in the region. Using a landscape approach, its objectives include, in addition to reducing deforestation and GHG emissions, preserving biodiversity, improving the livelihoods of producer families, meeting the requirements of the Forest Code and promoting better agricultural practices.

Conexões Transamazônicas is aligned with the strategies of the Pará government, such as the Sustainable Territories Platform of the Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainability (SEMAS). It complements the state government's Sustainable Territories Integrated Action Policy, which aims to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy, with synergies ranging from environmental and land regularisation to promoting sustainable production.

The change in land use by cattle ranching, which has led to huge losses of native vegetation, has been one of the main challenges for conservation in the Amazon. Photo: Solidaridad Foundation

Municipal and Sectoral Forums

To achieve its objectives, Transamazonica Connections will lead two forums for discussion and collective construction, one at municipal level and the other with a sectoral perspective. Led by Solidaridad, the municipal coalition will be set up to bring together local players: ranchers, unions, co-operatives, the town hall, secretariats and other public authorities. Its initial goal is to co-construct, through participatory workshops, common objectives for the municipality to move towards sustainable livestock production.

As one of the mechanisms for coordinating the actors in the livestock chain, the Programme will create, under the leadership of Imaflora, a multi-sector coalition with the participation of CSOs, the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office, meatpackers, retailers and representatives of the sector. The aim is to develop, in a collaborative and integrated way, the interventions that need to be carried out in the territory, with the aim of strengthening the monitoring of cattle suppliers and the transparency of the chain, guaranteeing the socio-environmental commitment of these actors.

With an emphasis on the production of agricultural commodities, the southeast of Pará is one of the state's mesoregions, covering 39 municipalities in an area of more than 297,000 square kilometres. Pará's livestock farming, concentrated in this region, contributed to the state generating the highest GHG emissions in Brazil in 2021, according to a study by the Climate Observatory. The focus of Transamazonica Connections, Novo Repartimento, has, according to the latest data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), the third largest herd in Pará, with more than 1.15 million heads of cattle. The municipality is third only after São Félix do Xingu, with 2.47 million heads, and Marabá, with 1.40 million.

With more than 1.15 million heads of cattle, Novo Repartimento is in third place in the ranking of Pará's top municipalities in terms of herd size. Photo: Solidaridad Foundation

Partners in Implementation

With almost ten years of experience in the Transamazon region of Pará, the Solidaridad Foundation - an international civil society organisation with more than half a century and almost 15 years of experience in Brazil in sustainable agricultural chains - is developing the Programa Amazônia. The actions are aimed at increasing productivity with low-carbon practices and the socio-economic inclusion of producer families. In partnership with the JBS Fund for the Amazon and the Elanco Foundation, it runs RestaurAmazônia, a project that promotes the implementation of cocoa agroforestry combined with sustainable livestock farming and forest conservation. The goal is to help 1,500 families in the municipalities of Novo Repartimento, Anapu and Pacajá and preserve more than 20,000 hectares of native vegetation, reducing the deforestation rate by 50% by 2026.

The Institute for Forest and Agricultural Management and Certification (Imaflora) is a non-profit civil association, created in 1995, which was founded on the premise that the best way to conserve tropical forests is to give them an economic destination, associated with good management practices and responsible management of natural resources. With offices in São Félix do Xingu and Alter do Chão - PA, Imaflora supports local family farming initiatives and traditional populations. Operating in all of the country's biomes, the organisation, which has its headquarters in Piracicaba - SP, works hard to promote more responsible and sustainable agricultural chains, especially soy and livestock.

Proforest is a global, regionally-led organisation with a shared mission: the responsible sourcing and production of agricultural and forestry products that deliver positive results for people, nature and climate. To this end, it advises companies and other players linked to agribusiness to engage in dialogue and find ways together to ensure sustainability in the sector. In addition to advising companies, Proforest works beyond supply chains, at a landscape level, bringing together multiple stakeholders to collectively address systemic issues at scale. Collaboration between government, companies and communities is necessary to bring about transformative changes in deforestation, the livelihoods of small producers, respect for Indigenous Peoples, local communities and labour issues. Proforest actively participates in and leads work with initiatives such as the Consumer Goods Forum's Forest Positive Coalition of Action and the Brazil, Climate, Forests and Agriculture Coalition.

A supporter of Transamazonica Connections, NESTE is a world leader in the production of sustainable aviation fuel, renewable diesel and renewable raw material solutions for various polymers and chemical industry uses. As an active part of the Consumer Goods Forum's (CGF) Forest Positive Action Coalition (FPC), Neste is sponsoring this landscape initiative in Pará with the aim of driving structural change in the region, engaging with local cattle ranchers and promoting forest conservation. The collaboration began at the start of 2023.