The Land Use and Food Systems portfolio of the iCS organized the first meeting of grantees and partners and involved significant numbers of participants. There were six virtual meetings in total, which involved over 180 participants from 56 organizations and entities, with the objectives of mutual recognition, the identification of potential partnerships and the understanding of causes and demands for possible strategic adaptation.

“In the opening session, we asked participants to carry out, in groups, the exercise of designing newspaper headlines that they would like to read concerning the Amazon in 2030, with a vision of imagining what is most important for the socioeconomic development and environmental conservation of the region. Then, the first thematic session discussed monitoring instruments, the legal and economic accountability of the environmental infringements and inputs regarding the role of the judiciary, the Prosecution Office, the control agencies and how civil society can contribute to the identification of data and information flow, etc.,” explained Gabriel Lui, the coordinator of Land Use and Food Systems at iCS.

The subject of the bioeconomy, one of the most important in the context of sustainable development in the Amazon, was addressed in the second thematic session, mainly from the practical point of view, of how it can be positive for those who are directly involved. This discussion highlighted challenges, bottlenecks in the productive sector in the Amazon and expectations of how iCS can help to leverage bioeconomy projects through the portfolio. Next was the turn of land regularization, with a focus on the collective territories and non-designated lands, including an understanding of the threats, the legal instruments and what should be done but has not yet taken place.

The last thematic session was developed from the perspective of the elections and the political debate regarding the Amazon in 2022, with ideas about how to mobilize partners to develop paths that lead to solutions in the area – for example, campaigns, mobilization plans and conversations with voters and candidates, among others. “We finished the work with reflections on the next steps, going back to those initial headlines and understanding what was addressed, during the meetings, as ways and means to make them real in 2030. Furthermore, we are summarizing all the contributions in order to look afterwards at our strategy in order to ascertain whether we can refine it,” adds Lui.

Two participants at the meeting had the following comments:

“This is our first year as an iCS grantee and the sequence of meetings of partners of the Land Use and Food Systems portfolio was a pleasant surprise, because it provided us with contacts and reactivated others involving people and institutions that are the largest national references in the area. The talks with everyone and the exchanges in small groups were the perfect combination for the discussion of highly strategic subjects and will result in the construction of an assertive and complementary planning in iCS, respecting the different vocations and areas of operation of the partners. For OPAN, it is an honor to be among the partners of iCS and to participate in important reflections for the future of the Amazon with those who are really making a difference.”

Andréia Fanzeres, Native Amazon Operation (OPAN)

“I had the pleasure of participating in all the meetings and my feeling after the end is that, firstly, it was very important to be in a circle of people who share our ideals and who have the same principles that we believe in, even though they are in the most diverse places and in different organizations. For us, quilombolas, as a people who have had their ideas and contributions listened to so carefully during the process, it was fundamental, especially in this current time, of no-one listening and very few productive debates. It is very much an excellent exchange for the construction of our objective and what we are aiming for in the next two years, which is to receive the title deeds and certification of the quilombola territories and the respect for the agendas of human rights, the environment, society and culture. Furthermore, the facilitation, the control of the time, the always productive and participatory discussions and the reports that were sent to us, which included all the contributions from the working groups, helped significantly to build bridges, reverberate the results and improve the dialogue. It was very encouraging for us. We live in such a difficult phase that moments like this of collective construction give us the strength to carry on. It was excellent and I really appreciate the opportunity.”

Selma Dealdina, National Coordination for the Rural Black Quilombola Communities (CONAQ)

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