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Cerrado Network: 27 years of articulation of traditional peoples and communities

by Thays Puzzi, Communication Officer of Rede Cerrado

Support from CEPF and DGM / Brazil has managed to multiply strengthening and integrating actions among the 50 member organizations

Established in the 1990s during the ECO-92 by a group of entities that, at that moment, saw in the network articulation a strategy of struggle and resistance, the Cerrado Network, over more than 25 years of history, has become a reference in the social and environmental area and in supporting the construction of public policies aimed at conserving the Cerrado and guaranteeing rights to the peoples and traditional communities that inhabit the Biome. In the last two years (2018-2019), in particular, the Cerrado Network, through the support of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) It's from DGM / Brazil, has been able to multiply strengthening and integrating actions among the 50 other member organizations.

Opening table of the IX Meeting and Fair of the Cerrado People, held from September 11-14, 2019, Brasilia, DF. Photo: ©Aryanne Amaral/IEB Collection

“Rede Cerrado worked with associated organizations to support, for example, the Federal Public Prosecution Service in building a platform of Traditional Territories, held a series of meetings and seminars on territories with representatives of traditional peoples and communities, held the ninth edition of the Cerrado People's Fair and Meeting and is in the final stages of support in building an application, developed by IPAM, to traditional territory mapping. Many actions were carried out with the support of CEPF and associated entities, ”said Rodrigo Noleto, coordinator of the Amazon Program of the Society, Population and Nature Institute (ISPN). For him, it is important to keep the Cerrado Network alive, because, according to Noleto, it is often the voice of help, support and articulation of traditional peoples and communities. "I hope that the Cerrado Network can be strengthened, and maintain the necessary articulation conditions for this period we live in," he said.

The sentiment is shared by Gerdau Samuel Caetano, from the Center for Alternative Agriculture of Northern Minas Gerais (CAA-NM). For him, the Cerrado Network is a strategic partner for organizations that value the sustainable development and a more harmonious relationship with the environment. “The Cerrado Network has established itself as a political space for these organizations, as it provides the unification of struggles with a more qualified and strategic debate. It's where we, traditional Cerrado peoples and communities, we exchange experiences, think and formulate public policies that defend the Cerrado and its peoples, ”he said.

Photo: Rede Cerrado ©Collection

Already Maria do Socorro Teixeira Lima, babassu coconut breaker and general coordinator of the Cerrado Network, the last two years have been essential for the institutional strengthening of the Cerrado Network. For her, now, it is necessary to expand the work with the base communities. “This is why the continuity of the Cerrado Network is so important. We rescued her, restructured her. I leave this message to our partners. ” Rose Mary Araújo, from Women in Action of the Pantanal (Mupan), considers the support given to the Cerrado Network to be essential. “There are no landscapes without people and Rede Cerrado really needs this support, especially now that we are reestablished. In the political field there is no other organization like Rede Cerrado ”, he said. César Victor do Espírito Santo, from the Pró-Natureza Foundation (Funatura) said that CEPF has filled a gap in the Cerrado, as it has historically been a biome that receives few resources for conservation projects. “The strengthening of the Cerrado Network is very important in getting the Cerrado's agenda forward. Not only of traditional peoples and communities, but also those related to to biodiversity conservation ', completed.

The main objective of the project supported by the CEPF Cerrado was to institutionally strengthen the Cerrado Network, in addition to increasing its incidence. The main action was the holding of the IX Cerrado Peoples' Meeting and Fair, which brought together in the federal capital, Brasilia, more than 500 representatives of traditional peoples and communities throughout the Cerrado and about seven thousand people from society in general. In addition to exchanging experiences and discussing strategies for keeping the Cerrado standing, they were able to exhibit products from sociobiodiversity and show a little of the cultural and gastronomic diversity for about seven thousand people who attended the event.

I Cerrado Network Territories Workshop held in November 2018. Photo: ©Thays Puzzi/Rede Cerrado Collection

Another project that allowed the Cerrado Network to expand its actions was the DGM / FIP Program (Dedicated Grant Mechanism for Indigenous People and Local Communities - Forest Investment Fund) of the World Bank.

For Kátia Favilla, Executive Secretary of the Cerrado Network, these last two years have been essential to reinforce the Cerrado Network's articulation and animation processes. “For the next few years, the biggest challenge will be the organizations acting together in a scenario with little financial resources and dismantling public environmental policies and guaranteeing the rights of traditional peoples and communities. Only with unity of entities and the strengthening of communities In their localities, besides a strong base work, we can guarantee the existence of the Cerrado and its peoples, ”said Favilla.

Cerrado Network and CEPF Cerrado

THE Cerrado Network counts with support from CEPF Cerrado to execute the project “Network strengthened, Cerrado conserved”, which aims to broaden the political impact of the Network on the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of public policies promoting sustainable development, respecting the rights of family farmers, peoples and traditional communities.

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.


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