Sustainable businesses and socio-biodiversity product chains in the Amazon region

Project description

Title: Sustainable businesses and socio-biodiversity product chains in the Amazon region
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: Executive Office (Casa Civil) / Special Secretariat for Family Agriculture and Agrarian Development (SEAD)
Overall term: December 2014 to March 2017



The Amazon commands a prominent global position in terms of biodiversity and is the focus of many international climate change mitigation efforts. In a bid to halt the depletion of its rain forests, the Brazilian government adopted its ‘National Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation’ (PPCDAM) in 2004. One of PPCDAM’s three major components provides for the sustainable use of socio-biodiversity product chains.

Up to now, the Brazilian Government’s success in preventing deforestation can primarily be attributed to mechanisms that monitor and control illegal deforestation. Aiming to strengthen sustainable exploitation strategies and promote sustainable economic alternatives for the local people, Brazil’s Federal Government also launched its National Plan for the Promotion of Socio-Biodiversity Product Chains (PNPSB) in 2009. This plan comprises marketing policies for cooperatives, associations, traditional peoples, communities and family farmers seeking to sustainably integrate into regional, national and even international markets.

Through the Special Secretariat for Family Agriculture and Agrarian Development (SEAD) in the Executive Office (Casa Civil), the Brazilian Government offers a broad portfolio of services and policies designed to assist family farms with product marketing. However, in many regions of the Amazon, these policies are not yet impacting the people they are intended for. Primarily, this is due to a lack of information and to organisational and logistical challenges. Producers in the Amazon still lack adequate access to financing and training, making it difficult for them to market their products, be it on public or private markets. Therefore, this project intends to make it easier for family farms and their producer organisations in the Amazon to access information about government services and policies. It also aims to help align policy implementation with local market realities. Furthermore, the project is working to ensure that innovative business models – such as partnerships with private companies, successful alliances for product marketing and distribution and marketing initiatives – are identified, disseminated and utilised more widely. And last but not least, the project is educating the target group about the way in which dynamic and diversified markets are structured and evolve.


The project strives to strengthen, adapt and create models and instruments for the market-oriented management and promotion of sustainable socio-biodiversity product chains in the Amazon region.



The aim is to increase the incomes of individual citizens, traditional communities and family farmers in four states (Acre, Amapá, Amazonas and Pará) by integrating socio-biodiversity product chains in the Amazon region into dynamic and diversified markets. This will help add value to the rain forest for traditional peoples and communities, and encourage them to do their best to preserve forest resources.

The project delivers technical and policy advisory services and supports public-private dialogue in an effort to adapt existing marketing policy instruments to the reality in the Amazon and so improve the quality and effectiveness of public services – such as advice and technical support – for organised and cooperative producer groups.

The project promotes close cooperation between research institutions and the private sector. The objective is to facilitate better market access for products from the Amazon region and to promote technical and logistic innovations that will support the development of socio-biodiversity product chains. Regional ideas contests, for example, are designed to advance the design of innovative business models in the Amazon region.

The people who work and farm in the Amazon region currently generate considerable additional income from the socio-biodiversity products they market. Take oilseeds for example: In 2011, more than 100,000 tonnes of oil were extracted and sold for more than 2.7 billion reais. In the same period, families engaged in the extractives sector managed to generate an income of 525 million reais through the sustainable management of açaí and Brazil nuts.

Brazil has introduced several policies targeting the distribution of financial resources and instruments designed to promote the sustainable marketing of family-farmed socio-biodiversity products. With GIZ’s support over the last few years, approaches for the inclusive green economy have thus been integrated into state and federal public policies; for example, local food products and sustainable production have been included in the National School Food Programme (PNAE), resulting in increased demand for socio-biodiversity products.

In addition, several initiatives have been trialled in recent years that support the sustainable production and marketing of products that can be extracted and/or grown in the Amazon without destroying the forest. Examples of these initiatives include partnerships with the business sector, an approach that the current project is not only continuing but stepping up.