TerrAmaz: a new partnership to reconcile the fight against deforestation with development in the Amazon

Institutional news 10 September 2020
The TerrAmaz project will serve to support Amazonian communities, starting with five pilot territories in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in the fight against deforestation and the transition to sustainable development pathways. The project, coordinated by CIRAD, in partnership with ONF-International and AVSF, with 9.5 million euros of financial support from AFD over four years, was launched on 10 September. TerrAmaz fits in with France's commitment to an International Alliance for the Preservation of Forests and the national strategy against imported deforestation (SNDI).
Paragominas, in Brazil, is one of the TerrAmaz project’s five pilot sites © R. Poccard-Chapuis, CIRAD
Paragominas, in Brazil, is one of the TerrAmaz project’s five pilot sites © R. Poccard-Chapuis, CIRAD

Paragominas, in Brazil, is one of the TerrAmaz project’s five pilot sites © R. Poccard-Chapuis, CIRAD

Amazonian territories are currently working on innovative ways of reconciling the transition to sustainable agriculture, forest resource and biodiversity conservation, and social inclusion. The TerrAmaz project will be supporting five such territories: Paragominas and Cotriguaçu in Brazil, Guaviare in Colombia, the Yasuni National Park buffer zone in Ecuador and Madre de Dios in Peru.

The aim is to develop territorial engineering tools to enable planning and sustainable management of Amazonian territories. "Indicators to monitor the sustainable transition of such territories, and technico-economic benchmarks for sustainable crop farming, livestock farming and forestry systems, will be developed during the project", says Marie-Gabrielle Piketty, an economist with CIRAD who is heading the project.

In the pilot territories, the project will support several farm networks through their agroecological transition, and hundreds of family farms that will benefit from agro-environmental contracts. The sustainable transition indicators to be built during the project will concern the spatial dynamics of land use, regulations or incentives and their practical implementation, and the degree of commitment on the part of local public and private players.

"I am delighted that the Agence française de développement (AFD) group, which is fully aware of the threat to our existence posed by biodiversity erosion within the forests of Amazonia, will, at the request of the French President and the government, be supporting these territories by providing funding for the TerrAmaz project. This means a total of 9.5 million euros over the next four years for an operational partnership between CIRAD , ONF-International and AVSF. Protecting ecosystems is a top priority for AFD, which is determined to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals and to build a shared world", says AFD CEO Rémy Rioux.

"The TerrAmaz project will roll out a decentralized sustainable territorial management approach across the Amazon Basin. The approach serves to reconcile biodiversity and natural forest conservation with agricultural development for the benefit of local communities. Among other things, TerrAmaz will be an opportunity for CIRAD to build on and share the intervention frameworks and monitoring tools developed through a longstanding, fruitful partnership with the authorities in Paragominas, Brazil", CIRAD President Managing Director Michel Eddi adds.

"In Colombia, since 2018, ONF Andina has been helping communities in Guaviare move away from production activities that cause deforestation. TerrAmaz will increase the number and range of beneficiaries, boost their food security and serve to stabilize the agricultural frontier", ONF Andina Director Eleonore Devilliers explains.

"Within the highly biodiverse buffer zone around Ecuador's Yasuni National Park, the project will serve to reactivate and extend multi-stakeholder governance and support alternative sources of funding", says Sylvain Bleuze, AVSF Coordinator for Ecuador and Colombia.

According to the project partners, its operations should foster a transition capable of preserving and restoring forest ecosystems and optimizing and promoting the ecosystem services provided by forests and agriculture.

About the Agence française de développement (AFD):
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) funds, supports and accelerates the transitions to a fairer and more sustainable world.
Focusing on climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health and governance, our teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas departments and territories and another 115 countries. In this way, we contribute to the commitment of France and French people to support the sustainable development goals.

About CIRAD:
CIRAD is the French agricultural research and cooperation organization working for the sustainable development of tropical and Mediterranean regions. It works with its partners to build knowledge and solutions and invent resilient farming systems for a more sustainable, inclusive world. It mobilizes science, innovation and training in order to achieve the SDGs. Its expertise supports public policymaking to foster biodiversity protection, agroecological transitions, sustainable food systems, health (of plants, animals and ecosystems), the sustainable development of rural territories and their resilience to climate change.

About ONF-International:
With almost 70 staff members in five territories, ONF-International works worldwide to ensure the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and fight global warming. ONF-International has been working in Latin America for more than 20 years, through its Colombian subsidiary and Fazenda Sao Nicolau in Brazil.

About AVSF:
Agronomes & Vétérinaires Sans Frontières is a recognized public-interest non-profit association that works for international solidarity and makes the skills of agricultural, livestock farming and animal health professionals available to rural communities and farmers' organizations under threat of exclusion and poverty in the global South. AVSF provides those farming communities with technical advice, financial support and training, while promoting the traditional knowledge held by farmers, to improve their living standards, manage natural resources sustainably and contribute to the socioeconomic development of their territories.