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Archive for the ‘Instituto Amazônia Livre’ Category

On the 17th of May, the Human Milk Bank in Amazonas (Banco de Leite Humano do Amazonas), from the Ana Braga Maternity Hospital, in Manaus, in the Amazonas State of Brazil, officially launched a new campaign to encourage women to donate milk.

The organisation provides milk to approximately 200 children every month. Human breast milk has proven to be crucial for the survival of those babies, providing them with proper nutrients and help preventing diseases.

According to Elizabeth Hardman, nurse and coordinator of the project, the main objective of the campaign is “to save the lives of thousands of children through the donation of human milk, encouraging breastfeeding and helping to reduce infant mortality rates.”

The Human Milk Bank was founded in 2004, and works collecting, treating, and distributing human breast milk. The main people benefited from the donations are mothers in hospitals that, for some reason, are not able to breastfeed their newborns.

In 2012, the institution was able to distribute more than 700,000 litres of milk. The slogan for the campaign starting today is “donate mother´s milk and help nurturing healthier Brazilian children”.

Donation
Celestial Green Ventures is donating R$ 5,000 (five thousand Reais) for the campaign. The donation is being made through Instituto Amazônia Livre, a not-for-profit organisation which is CGV´s main partner in Brazil, and which is helping to raise the funds for the campaign.

“Last month, during a visit to Manaus, I met the team working with the Human Milk Bank, and I was impressed with the dedication of the staff, and the number of children that they have been able to help throughout the years,” recalls Ciaran Kelly, CEO of CGV.

The Human Milk Bank is supported by the Amazonas State Government. For more information on how to help the organisation, please call +55 92 36474234.

Ciaran Kelly, CEO of Celestial Green Ventures (4th from the right), with the team from the Human Milk Bank, in Manaus, last April

Ciaran Kelly, CEO of Celestial Green Ventures (4th from the right), with the team from the Human Milk Bank, in Manaus, in April

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Our partners in Brazil from Amazônia Livre Institute (IAL) are currently discussing the possibility of working closely together with the trade union for the shipbuilding industry from the Amazonas State, best known by the abbreviation of its name in Portuguese Sindnaval.

Sindnaval was founded in 1962 as an employee association and became a trade union later in 1983. Today Sindnaval has members from approximately 60 companies, which means it represents around 12 thousand people.

According to the president of IAL Waldemar de Lima, the partnership could bring benefits to Celestial Green Ventures conservation projects. “Since one of the proposals of the projects is to bring investments for the acquisition of new boats, the partnership with Sindnaval could facilitate the contacts with the supply chain,” explains Waldemar.

Several communities within the project areas can only be reached by water, so having appropriate boats is of huge importance to improve the accessibility of those places, and consequently improve health and education services, and even encourage ecotourism activities.

Waldemar also believes that through this partnership, the organisations could set out strategies to offer training to local boat drivers. “Although several community members have and drive their own boats, only a few of them hold proper licenses to do so. When properly trained and certified, these people would be qualified to transport tourists within the vast project areas”, highlights Waldemar.

Waldemar de Lima, Antônio Fernandes, and José Souza, from IAL, in a meeting with the president of Sindnaval (centre), Matheus Araujo, last week. Photo: JMendonca/Sindnaval

Waldemar de Lima, Antônio Fernandes, and José Souza, from IAL, in a meeting with the president of Sindnaval (centre), Matheus Araujo, last week. Photo: JMendonca/Sindnaval

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During my recent trip to the Amazonas State, I had the opportunity to visit a few communities located within our project areas. One of them was the São José Community, which is part of the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project.

Boys from the community. Improved education is one of the Trocano Araretama Project priorities

Boys from the community. Improved education is one of the Trocano Araretama Project priorities

The community is only accessible by boat. In a small boat like the one we used (pictured below), the journey through the Madeira River from Borba City takes around 90 minutes.

Boat which took us through the Madeira River

Boat which took us through the Madeira River

Fishing, rubber extraction and cocoa harvesting are among the main activities of the local working population.

Hugely popular during the late 1800s and the first half of the 20th Century, rubber extraction is still one of the main activities for several communities in the area

Cocoa harvesting is another income source. On a more personal note, that was the first time I have ever tasted the cocoa fruit. Although it does not taste at all like chocolate, I have to say the flavour is pretty good!

Cocoa harvesting is another income source. On a more personal note, this was the first time I have ever tasted the cocoa fruit. Although it does not taste at all like chocolate, I have to say the flavour is pretty good!

As in several other isolated communities in the Amazonian region, one of the biggest challenges for the people of São José is trading with middlemen or intermediaries. If these communities don’t have direct access to the main consumer markets (such as in the state capital Manaus), they end up selling their produce for a lower price to these traders, who end up with most of the profits.

In order to facilitate access to the consumer markets, the Trocano Araretama Conservation project will seek ways of improving the organisation of small-scale producers. The proposed creation of community co-ops, involving many small producers, will provide them collectively with a route to market and increased selling power, consequently boosting the local economies of the region.

Pictured above, community members who welcomed us during our visit, together with members of the Borba Municipality, and Amazônia Livre Institute

Pictured above, community members who welcomed us during our visit, together with members of the Borba Municipality, and Amazônia Livre Institute

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Discover images from our REDD+ project areas in Brazil.  To see more, join us on Flickr @ www.flickr.com/photos/celestialgreenventures/

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Waldemar de Lima (centre right), president of Instituto Amazônia Livre, our Brazilian partners, met the new mayor of Borba, Jose Maria da Silva Maia (centre left), known as “Baia”, in the capital of the municipality. In the meeting held last week, Waldemar and Jose were joined by other representatives of the city hall to discuss updates on the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project, which is in the Borba Municipality, in the Amazonas State of Brazil. The politician Jose Maria is new to the role of mayor of the municipality, having started work on January 1st after winning the municipal elections last October.

Jose Maria da Silva Maia, mayor of Borba, and Waldemar de Lima, president of Instituto Amazônia Livre (center two): meeting to discuss updates on the Trocano Araretama Project

Jose Maria da Silva Maia, mayor of Borba, and Waldemar de Lima, president of Instituto Amazônia Livre (centre two): meeting to discuss updates on the Trocano Araretama Project, in the Municipality of Borba.

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The Trocano Araretama REDD+ Conservation project, developed by Celestial Green Ventures in partnership with Instituto Amazônia Livre (IAL), is being used as the basis of a scientific article by members of the IAL team.

Renan Albuquerque Rodrigues, a lecturer and PhD researcher at the Universidade Federal do Amazonas (UFAM), the oldest and one of the most traditional universities in Brazil, and Dr. Antônio José do Nascimento Fernandes who both work at IAL have decided to use this first CGV REDD+ Natural Capital project as a test case and as the basis of a scientific academic article in Brazil.

This new link between the organisations, can be beneficial for all sides, while researchers at the university are currently analysing the potential of this particular academic paper, the IAL team are confident that it will be the start of a great relationship now and into the future.

The Trocano Araretama project uses a REDD+ methodology and is based on the principles of good governance (including social participation), transparency and inclusion. Abating deforestation and forest degradation; protecting vulnerable biodiversity; enhancing the livelihoods of the local communities and protecting the Natural Capital of the regions are key to the success these projects.

These REDD+ Natural Capital projects are designed to bring benefits to the local communities, who are also the decision-making partners deciding where and how the funds are spent, to improve their regions, in the way that they want.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA* This post was written with the collaboration of Renan Albuquerque Rodrigues, who is a lecturer and current Ph.D. student of Amazonian Culture and Society, journalist and currently advises IAL, in the area of humanities and culture. He was one of the members of the IAL team who visited Celestial Green Ventures Head Office in Dublin last October.

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