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AVACLIM: Review of activities in Brazil

AVACLIM: Review of activities in Brazil

Partners  

CAATINGA works in the Sertão do Aripe region, in the state of Pernambuco, in the Caatinga ecoregion. Its aim is to disseminate agroecological innovations to improve livelihoods in semi-arid lands. It specializes in agroecology training, product marketing, water management, water recycling, gender mainstreaming, public policy advocacy, social and political organization and mobilization. 

An agreement was also signed with the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFPRE), to collaborate on the scientific aspects of the project in Brazil. 

Characterization of agroecological initiatives in Brazil 

During the first year of the project, the identification and characterization of agroecological initiatives led to the production of a total of 5 initiative sheets. These sheets present the background, context and development trajectory of the initiatives, as well as the main lessons learned with regard to the FAO’s ten elements of agroecology. 

Following are the factsheet presenting the Brazilian initiatives:

Evaluation of initiatives  

To carry out the initiative evaluation activities, the Brazilian partners set up a “grassroots academic consortium” made up of NGOs, technical teams, families, students and researchers. The size and composition of this consortium was designed to “understand the complexity and diversity of the Brazilian semi-arid region and its agro-ecological experiences”. 

The two initiatives evaluated were : 

  • Recaatingamiento: This initiative works to recover the Caatinga ecosystem with the traditional collective pastoral communities of the Sertão do São Francisco Territory region, who are directly dependent on its resources. Recaatingamento”, implemented by this initiative, is an approach to recovering degraded areas and developing a management plan for the sustainable use of the Caatinga for goat and sheep grazing. It is implemented in partnership with traditional collective grazing communities. 
  • Ecoararipe: Located in the Sertão Pernambuco, the Association of Agroecological Farmers of the Araripe Territory (Associação de Agricultores e Agricultoras Agroecológicos do Araripe, ECOARARIPE) was created in 2012 by eleven farming families (most of whom were already at advanced levels of agroecological transition) with the aim of transforming the agricultural management of the Araripe territory through agroecology. ECOARARIPE was born with the support of various partners (notably the NGOs CAATINGA and CHAPADA), and is the result of the desire of family farmers to share agroecological knowledge, create agroecological consortiums around organic cotton, and set up processing and marketing with companies committed to fair trade. 

To facilitate the dissemination of their results, the Brazilian consortium partners have developed the document “Learn from life: Contributions of the AVACLIM Project to promote agroecology in Brazil’s semiarid regions“, presenting the Brazilian experience of using the AVACLIM method, as well as a synthesis of the knowledge developed during the evaluation and characterization of the initiatives. 

Illustration of local adaptation techniques 

The project also led to the production of a booklet illustrating the experiences of “cohabitation with the Brazilian semi-arid environment” developed by partners and local populations. This document presents a number of practices used by local populations to adapt to their environment, such as water harvesting techniques, renewable energies, sustainable agricultural practices and the feminist aspects of agroecology in Brazil. 

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