• Visiting the Ponta Alegre Community

    During her most recent trip to the Trocano Araretama REDD+ Project, CGV’s Laine Tavares travelled to many communities found within the 1.3 million ha area that the project covers. These on-the-ground visits are undertaken for monitoring purposes and allow the continuous development of the project.

    Ponta Alegre

    Linhares is the official representative of the Ponta Alegre community, where he has resided since childhood. For him, it is important to live in harmony with the forest because it helps improve the lives of the people it surrounds.

    Continuing with the monitoring visit undertaken by the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project through the upper Madeira River region, today we will discuss the trip to the Ponta Alegre community. Located 38 km from the seat of the municipality of Borba, Ponta Alegre has approximately 32 families.

    Economy

    Like many other communities, the residents of Ponta Alegre depend on agriculture and fisheries as sources of food and employment. According to Linhares, who is the community leader and president of the farmers’ association, the technique they use to prepare the soil must be improved to increase productivity and prevent further deforestation.

    Ponta Alegre

    An area devoted to agriculture in Ponta Alegre is used to plant cassava and banana, which are produced for local consumption and sale.

    The current soil preparation method involves the burning of soil in order to renew pasture, eliminate weeds and add nutrients to the earth. The first time that this technique is used on a patch of land it regrows stronger and with a better appearance. However, as the years pass, the practice causes soil degradation.

    Through a partnership currently being developed with the Institute of Agricultural Development and Sustainable Forest of the Amazonas (IDAM), the Trocano Araretama Project is studying the use of new technologies to substantially reduce the practice of using burning as a forest management tool, as well as bringing benefits to the forest and locals.

    Infrastructure

    Ponta Alegre has a basic infrastructure in place with a generator that provides electricity and water for consumption that can be collected from a well in the community centre.

    Ponta Alegre

    Residents can store up to 5,000 litres of water pumped from the well in this box.

    During the visit, the Trocano Araretama Project’s implementation team collected samples to check the quality of the well water and found that it is fit for human consumption. However, a different outcome was found when sampling water from one of the houses in the community, where it was found to have a high concentration of microorganisms.

    There are two possible reasons for this result: either the water was contaminated whilst travelling through pipes that connect the house and the well, or it was contaminated from the house’s tank where the water is stored.

    The method used for the water evaluation is called ‘dip slide’, which works as follows:

    • A sample of water is collected in a tube
    • A chemical is inserted into the tube, which is then sealed
    • The tube is refrigerated for 24-48 hours
    • The amount of microorganisms present is then monitored

     
    The next step is to inspect the piping from the well to the homes in order to identify where the contamination occurs.

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    Celestial Green Ventures

    Celestial Green Ventures (CGV) develops and implements REDD+ conservation projects, which focus on protecting regions at risk of deforestation and improving the local communities, in the Brazilian Amazon region.
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