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Cerrado Seed Network strengthens income generation for communities through the sale of native species for restoration

by Luana Luizy, Communication Advisor, International Education Institute of Brazil

Have you thought about promoting trade in native seeds, promote a source of income for traditional populations and still restore degraded areas? It is in this way that Cerrado Seed Network (RSC), association that works in the articulation to strengthen the activity of collecting seeds of native species of the Cerrado flora.

The Network's focus is on the region of Veadeiros Plateau, in Goiás, in addition to Brasilia and in north of Minas Gerais. “One of our areas of activity is restoration, making degraded areas return as close as possible to their original formation, with all of their ecological functions involved there. We also promote the sale of native seeds and, thus, the restoration of the Cerrado biome ”, comments Camila Motta, president of RSC.

Hands that make all the difference in the restoration of the Cerrado. Photo: Dudu Coladetti / Collection RSC

The social nature of the work carried out by the Network is one of the main pillars of the organization, since the commercialization of native seeds generates income for local communities, in addition to stimulating conservation of areas by these populations. “A very important factor in the restaurant chain is social involvement. The role of the seed collector is very important not only for income generation, but also for restoration, and the main objective is conservation, bringing the Cerrado back ”explains Camila Motta.

Altogether, 450 people trained in the production of native seeds and ecological restoration, 11 benefited communities, 250 hectares in the process of restoration, more than 30 businesses closed with commercialization and more than 10 tons of seeds already commercialized with project support “Seed and Catering Market: Providing Environmental Services and Biodiversity”, in addition to support from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) It's from Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB).

The President of Standing Cerrado Association, Claudomiro de Almeida, a native of the Chapada dos Veadeiros region, was one of the beneficiaries of the project, along with his organization: “This partnership was essential. Today, our association has many families involved in the project. RSC supports us in the organization, in the search for seed buyers, also with training for collectors. Families do what they know, which is to collect and store seeds, and CSR comes with that support. ”

Collector participates in seeding in the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park in Goiás. Photo: Dudu Coladetti / Collection RSC

THE pandemic it generated challenges and difficulties for many organizations, which needed to reinvent themselves. For the Cerrado Seeds Network, 2020 was the year with the best results in seed marketing, according to Camila Motta; among other factors, this is due to the progress made on the restoration agenda: “The growing need for rural producers to adapt to the environment, companies, the effect of the courses we took, all the mobilization that the project does with the partnerships. All of these factors together are reflected in practice. Last year, 30 deals were closed ”.

Training with the Cerrado das Águas Consortium

THE training of rural producers and the demand for restoration through native seeds provided the partnership with Cerrado das Águas Consortium (CCA). The Cerrado Seeds Network (RSC) provided native seeds to the CCA, and in 2021, the two organizations will carry out a empowerment, at a distance, for producers in the municipality of Patrocínio (MG), on the collection of native seeds and restoration. “Through this course we will train rural producers in terms of restoration”says Camila Motta.

Find out more the work of the Cerrado Seed Network (RSC): https://www.rsc.org.br/

Download the calendar for guide the collection of native seeds including trees, shrubs, grasses and other Cerrado herbs. All information is regional and specific to Chapada dos Veadeiros (GO). The sale of seeds generates income for more than 60 families and helps to conserve the Cerrado!

 

 


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

Project invests in restoring native vegetation and managing water resources in the coffee chain in the Cerrado of Minas Gerais

In Minas Gerais, an initiative involves different actors to promote sustainable landscapes and the conservation of native vegetation

by Luana Luizy, Communication Advisor, International Education Institute of Brazil

Companion that is part of the daily lives of thousands of people worldwide, the coffee it is a product of strong expression in world culture. In Brazil, the state of Minas Gerais stands out in the production of this grain, being, today, one of the largest international exporters. Thus, the coffee activity needs to be developed with an environmental balance between fauna and flora.

Thus, coffee production is of no use without thinking about the sustainability, since this product requires a balance between a series of environmental factors, which permeate a soil rich in nutrients and strong irrigation for the cultivation of this grain. Climate threats today represent a threat to their cultivation.

Based on this, the Cerrado das Águas Consortium (CCA) emerged in 2019, with the goal of involve different actors in the coffee production chain on a collaborative platform to restore native vegetation and monitor the quality of water in rivers and soils, in order to guarantee sustainable coffee production and efficient management of water resources in the region of the mining triangle. Representatives of cooperatives, NGOs and large companies, such as Nespresso, and Lavazza, participate in the Consortium.

The objective of bringing these different actors together was to ensure resilience to climate change that interfere in hydrographic basins, restore the provision of ecosystem services, from the strengthening ecological corridors - “Areas that join fragments of native vegetation or protected areas that are separated by human interference”[1] -, and promote positive impacts on the Cerrado of Minas Gerais.

Rural producers restore degraded areas in the Córrego Feio region in Minas Gerais. Photo: CCA Collection

The rural producer, Ricardo Bartholo, one of the beneficiaries of the CCA project, comments that the initiative strengthens the availability of water in Córrego Feio & #8211; source that supplies the population and is also used for agricultural activities in the municipality of Patrocínio, in Minas Gerais.

“The Consortium has brought a more objective view for us producers. It is great to see large companies aware of sustainability in coffee production. I am convinced that we will have an increase in the water supply. With that I can use more water to irrigate my coffee plantation, because today I have a limitation on the amount I can extract ”, he says.

Within the platform, companies in the coffee production chain are committed to donating a financial contribution to the maintenance and investment of river basin restoration. "We look at native vegetation, water resources, the amount of water inside the basins, the connected landscapes, the involvement and connection of producers, the institutional engagement and the local community within this collaborative platform that is the CCA", explains Fabiane Sebaio, executive director of the Cerrado das Águas Consortium.

Investing in the producer

Attention to small producer it is also one of the action axes of the Cerrado das Águas Consortium, through the Conscious Producer Investment Program (PIPC). “This program starts with a contact with the producers, so that we can talk about what the Consortium is; we explain that their property is part of the hydrographic basin, the concept of it, we make a diagnosis and a visit to the producers' property, we also suggest if we can invest in their territory, we draw up a plan; from it, we set up a workshop, where we discussed with the processes ”says Fabiane Sebaio.

The central objective of the PIPC is to establish and implement a strategy to restore provision of ecosystem services in the basin, in the long term, through a process of effective involvement with local producers and actors. The main concern of the program is the areas of native vegetation, explains Fabiane: “We need to make the producer understand that his property is within the basin and that any and all mobilization for the restoration and water quality of the basin is extremely important. We consider the engagement of the producer to be very important in this process. Where do I need to restore to be effective in this process? ”.

Merganser: water bird threatened with extinction. Photo: André Dib / Pato-Mergulhão Project Collection

The program's goal was to reach 100 hectares in seven municipalities in the Minas Gerais Cerrado; one of the chosen areas, the Córrego Feio basin in Patrocínio, is where the Merganser, a bird native to the Cerrado threatened with extinction, which depends on extremely conserved aquatic environments for its survival.

Partnership with the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund

The Cerrado das Águas Consortium has the support of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) It's from Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB) to be executed, but the greatness of the project presented a challenge: that of promote the adoption of best practices in agriculture in the Cerrado of Minas Gerais and bring together companies competing with the coffee chain, all for the same interest - the conservation of native areas and water resources in the Cerrado.

However, all the resources invested were not limited only to restoration, but also to dialogue with the producer, the development of an application that maps degraded areas, the effort to bring together competing companies in the coffee chain. Thus, CEPF resources and IEB support were fundamental in the process of building the team's methodology and investing in properties.

“In this scenario of producer engagement, it is the greatest legacy with the project to make this movement so that the producer takes more care of his property, so that there is a change in mentality about what is a sustainable farm, how I provide climate resilience, understanding that the climate brings together a series of factors and that the crops of these producers provide restoration ”explains Fabiane Sebaio.

know more about the Cerrado das Águas Consortium: http://cerradodasaguas.org.br/

[1] “What are Ecological Corridors”. Environmental Dictionary. ((o)) echo, Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 2014. Available at:


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

 

In a virtual meeting with collectors, RSC and Associação Cerrado de Pé define price and collection potential for 2021

by Maria Antônia Perdigão, via the Cerrado Seed Network 

In a workshop held on Tuesday, 26, the Cerrado Seed Network (RSC) and the Cerrado Standing Association brought together collectors and the Project's technical team Seed and Catering Market: Promoting Environmental Services and Biodiversity to prepare the action plan for 2021. The meeting took place virtually and was attended by the consultant Regina Erismamm.

Besides the review of seed prices available for sale by the Association through RSC, the potential for collection and the benefits of processing native seeds from the Cerrado, which are used in the biome restoration process through direct sowing, were also discussed during the meeting.

Photo: ©Amalia Robredo/CSR Collection

On the occasion, the collectors themselves defined the prices of the species that will be marketed in 2021. “Every beginning of the year, the Cerrado Seed Network conducts this workshop with the collectors so that they can define the price and the collection potential. This definition takes into account several aspects such as, for example, the processing of seeds. It is important to note that the Association has been delivering purer seeds that provide better results in restoration. This ends up making the process more laborious and a little more expensive. Due to the experiences of previous years, the price of some species needed to be revised for 2021 ”, pondered the President of RSC, Camila Motta.

The seed processing will continue to be prioritized by Associação Cerrado de Pé, as President Claudomiro de Almeida said. “We have some species that are very complex to benefit and require a lot of work. We set the price taking into account the collector's effort and also the advantages for the customer who will receive the seeds with more quality ”, he highlighted.

On the occasion, Claudomiro announced that the Association is offering the service of ecological restoration. "This is very good, because in addition to allowing the collector to participate in the restoration of degraded areas, it generates another income supplement", completed.

The project

The sale of native seeds from the Cerrado is an initiative of CSR through the Project Seed and Catering Market: Promoting Environmental Services and Biodiversity which has the support of the Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF), International Institute of Education of Brazil and Caixa Seguradora Institute. Used in ecological restoration by the method of planting direct sowing, these seeds are collected by small rural, settled and quilombola producers who are part of the Cerrado de Pé Association.

Maria Antônia Perdigão- (61) 98327-3415
Communication Advisory for the Cerrado Seed Network

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

Family farmers in DF receive training in the collection of native seeds from the Cerrado

In the months of May and June the Bartô Network concluded two more stages of the Component for “Environmental Regularization of the Roseli Nunes Rural Settlement” - part of the project Agroforestry Providing Ecosystem Services.

Photo: Rede Bartô Collection

From the land use and occupation map, a database was created that served to rectify the Rural Environmental Registries farmers, advancing the process of Settlement Environmental Regularization. Regularization brings benefits to the settlers, such as access to credit and production incentive programs.

The process of environmental restoration of the Rosely Nunes Settlement, is being built so that all phases of the process can be internalized by the local community so that it makes sense to them. At this stage, social issues, but mainly economic ones, were worked around the opportunities of the market for collecting seeds of native species of the Cerrado for farmers. This activity is the continuity of a partnership between Bartô Network, Tikré Soluções Ambientais, Cerrado Seed Network, the Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF Cerrado) and the International Education Institute of Brazil.

Photo: Rede Bartô Collection

The activities counted on the participation of the settlement's farmers, who collected more than 16 kg of seeds of native species of the Cerrado. After collection, they were processed and stored properly. Later they will be used to recover areas of the settlement that have been degraded.

“The idea at the other end is to empower farmers themselves with the ecological restoration technique through direct seeding, so that they can do the restoration process themselves on other occasions. Maybe even as a profession, generating income in the future & #8221; says Fabrício Lima, project coordinator.

The activity was adapted to follow all care security and health, following coronavirus prevention guidelines. Rede Bartô developed a security protocol with measures to be adopted by the team and beneficiaries to ensure the safety of all. Meet the project Agroforestry Providing Ecosystem Services and the Bartô Network!


The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.