Research findings and conservation management experience in Brazil have shown that protected areas alone are insufficient to halt large-scale deforestation, to reduce land-use related greenhouse gas emissions, and to preserve Brazil’s wealth of unique biodiversity. To truly sustain natural ecosystems, conservation practitioners and policy makers need to extend their focus beyond core protected areas and address issues affecting resource-use decisions that, while determined largely by local factors, have regional and even global implications.
The purpose of USAID’s Environment Program in Brazil is to increase environmentally sustainable benefits and economic opportunities to the rural poor and reduce the deforestation rate. More generally, the Environment Program aims to shape the environmental impact of future land-use trends over large geographic areas of Brazil, especially the Amazon, while continuing to mitigate the global impact of climate change and biodiversity loss.
The USAID environment strategy takes advantage of emerging opportunities to develop markets for environmental goods and services and to work with civil society to conserve forests in productive landscapes that provide social, economic, and environmental benefits.
What is USAID doing in this area?
USAID is addressing global concerns of biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation in Brazil through support for innovative partnerships between experienced local and international environmental organizations. USAID provides grant funding to help build institutional networks that empower local communities, generate and disseminate sound resource management practices, and contribute to formulating public policies that support and encourage such practices. USAID also works with indigenous organizations to assist them in protecting their cultures, lands, and ecosystems.
Sustainable Forest Management
USAID supports training and capacity building, with a gender focus, for adoption of sound and sustainable forest management practices in both industrial and community-level operations.
Development of Markets
USAID facilitates the development of markets for environmental goods and services that provide economic benefits to poor communities. Partners help develop business skills in rural communities, conduct market analyses, and formulate sound forest policies.
USAID supports incorporation of landscape-level planning that sustains or enhances environmental and socioeconomic benefits in landscape mosaics that include protected areas, managed forests agriculture, and sustainable agriculture enterprises.
What does USAID expect to achieve?
USAID is working to significantly increase the area of land in the Brazilian Amazon region under improved, sustainable forest management. In achieving this result, it is expected that there will be improvements in the socioeconomic behavior of forest dwellers and forest entrepreneurs, increased sustainable economic valuation of the forest, and improved public policies directed towards forested areas. Examples of expected accomplishments include:
Increased land area under protection and under sustainable natural resource management;
Increased protection of traditional knowledge and recognition of the value of indigenous stewardship of biodiversity and environmental services;
Increased number of skilled people employed in sustainable natural resource management in rural communities; and
Increased private investment directed towards sustainable production in community settings in forest areas.