• The Dusty Dirt Road – The Trocano Araretama Project

    The Trocano Araretama is a rainforest conservation project in Borba, Brazil, that focuses on social, biodiversity and carbon benefits. Visits to the project area allow for an in-depth understanding of the situation on the ground. Here, Seán Greif recounts traveling the road south of Borba in January 2014.

    Day 9: Taking to the back of Goiano’s motorbike once again, we hit the bumpy road that leads south from Borba town. We rounded a towering tribute to the town’s mascot, a proud iguana basking in the searing heat, before turning off and leaving the town behind. It wasn’t long before the tarmac turned to dirt road and we were kicking up a trail of dust in our wake. It had just rained, so the road was in poor condition and we were avoiding large pools of water as we drove. But the sun soon returned in full force, and the rising evaporation left the air heavy.

    Borba Amazonas

    The Statue of Borba’s Town Mascot. Photo: Seán Greif/CGV

    This area has seen growing incursion into the forest as the road has opened up access to the forest, and demand for resources from Borba’s increasing population has risen. Signs of deforestation & forest degradation are evident all along the road, mostly from cattle farming, but there are also signs of logging, hunting & smallholder plantations. Satellite images have also shown a fishbone effect where smaller roads branch out from the main road, opening up channels of access to deeper areas of rainforest.

    These visits are of such importance because this area of high human activity could easily go unnoticed. The reason for this is that the Brazilian Government has no recognition of the road, and therefore, neither do any official maps. However, by visiting these areas and speaking with the local populations, we can understand the drivers of deforestation. Through combating the underlying causes, we can mitigate further acts of deforestation in the area by providing real, sustainable, and attractive alternatives for the local population.

    We followed the road until we arrived at the Mapiá River, a beautiful expanse of water that was both dark and clear, fringed by pristine jungle. Here, the road comes to an abrupt stop, and provides the perfect spot for a quick dip in the cool, revitalising water.

    Mapiá River

    The Untamed Mapiá River. Photo: Seán Greif/CGV


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