Forest and landscape restoration
Ecological restoration with indigenous families in the reserve of Caramuru Paraguaçu
The indigenous territory of Caramuru Paraguaçu is located in the south of Bahia and is inhabited by about 1000 indigenous families of the Pataxó HãHãHãe (about 5000 people). The reserve was resettled by the Pataxó HãHãHãe in the 1980s. After decades of cattle ranching, the reserve is largely deforested and the soils are degraded. Due to a lack of knowledge and financial resources, the indigenous people have adopted the management practices of the former landowners, so that the reserve is still dominated by cattle ranching and the process of degradation and biodiversity loss continues. Some families have contacted AMAP for support in the ecological restoration and sustainable use of their farms. Together with three families AMAP will start three pilot projects in 2024.
The indigenous territory of Caramuru-Paraguaçu has been extensively deforested by small-scale cattle farming. This has greatly changed the landscape and the regional climate. There has been a transition from a tropical rainforest climate to an arid savanna climate. The landscape type can now be compared with the typical thornbush savanna of the Caatinga Biome located north of the Mata Atlântica.
Only on mountain slopes and in the very east of the indigenous territory forest fragments could be preserved. For many decades, cocoa cultivation was practiced in the cabruca agroforestry system in the east of the reserve. The biodiversity of the Mata Atlântica could be preserved in these areas of the reserve. After the resettlement of the Pataxó HãHãHãe, this form of cultivation was no longer practiced due to lack of expertise.
The reserve was granted to the displaced groups of the Pataxó HãHãHãe in the 1980s following a Supreme Court ruling. Subsequently, the descendants of seven groups of the Pataxó HãHãHãe settled in the reserve. This historical circumstance paints an untypical picture for Brazil, of a degraded and deforested indigenous territory. The indigenous people are well aware of this fact, but due to the lack of both knowledge and financial resources, the agricultural system based on cattle farming of the previous owners was adopted.
AMAP Brazil will develop sustainable management concepts in three pilot projects with three indigenous families. The project will implement a number of components, such as agroforestry systems, reforestation with native tree species and sustainable forms of agriculture. The aim is to restore the ecosystem functions of the natural area and to generate an income for the families involved. Areas not needed for own livelihood will be restored as future Mata Atlântica forest.
The Caramuru Paraguaçu indigenous territory is located in the state of Bahia, southwest of Ilheus. The three pilot projects are located in the south of the territory.
In three initial pilot projects, AMAP will support three families in establishing agroforestry systems on their land.
Replacing cattle farming with agroforestry to restore biodiversity.
Ecological restoration of degraded cattle pastures with an agroforestry-system and native tree species
Transforming agricultural areas into agroforestry to restore ecological functions