Friday, July 29, 2011

Second Pilot Study on Enhancing Community Dialogue with UEBT

On 26 July, a second pilot testing the use of certain elements of the biocultural community protocol (BCP) process in the context of Ethical BioTrade was implemented in Nazarezinho do Meruú, a community of about 200 families a few hours away by car and boat from Belém, Pará. Within the community, the “Associação de Produtores Rurais de Nazarezinho do Meruú” (Rural Producers’ Association of Nazarezinho do Meruú) represents 60 members/families, 30 of which participate in the process of selling Açaí (Euterpea olarecea) to Beraca, a Brazilian member of the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT).

In comparison with the earlier pilot of Peru, this pilot only included a preliminary dialogue between Beraca and the community, which already proved useful to both in relation to managing expectations. Both parties also provided each other with further background about themselves and how they were organized. After a day of discussions, the need for improved internal organisation was again and again highlighted within the community, above all to bridge the difficult six-month period each year in between the Açaí harvest. It was agreed that the discussion between the two would continue, facilitated by the local NGO Bolsa Amazônia, which would then elaborate to what extent a more BCP-type process would be appropriate and of interest to the community.

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