Incentives and impediments in conservation of Euterpe edulis Mart. in quilombolas communities from Ribeira Valley

Juçara inventory
Juçara inventory. Jan. 2010. Credit: Luca Fanelli/ ISA

This paper analyzes the results of an Atlantic Forest enriched with seeds from palm juçara in Quilombo Communities in the Ribeira Valley – SP, as well as the difficulties and bottlenecks involved in implementation of sustainable management of this species. The work was constructed from field survey of populations of the palm and also in workshops and participant observation. The results indicate the need for improving incentives in public policy and in collective management of natural resource.

Luca A. Fanelli, Nilto I. Tatto, Eduardo P. C. Gomes, Clovis J. Oliveira Jr., Incentivos e impedimentos na conservação de Euterpe edulis Mart. em comunidades quilombolas do Vale do Ribeira, «Revista Brasileira de Agroecologia», 7(2): 51-62.

Full text in Portuguese.

Participatory planning to reconstruct riparian forest

Detail of a map, with the current use of the riverbank, done by the geoprocessing laboratory of the Instituto Socioambiental in 2011
Detail of a map, with the current use of the riverbank, done by the geoprocessing laboratory of the Instituto Socioambiental in 2011

The Instituto Socioambiental is right now implementing a project, called “Plano diretor para recomposição florestal visando à conservação de recursos hídricos da bacia hidrográfica do rio Ribeira de Iguape e Litoral sul” [Planning scheme for the forest reconstruction, aiming at the conservation of the water resources of the basin of the Ribeira river and the southern coast].

The project will define priority riverbank areas, to be reconstructed as riparian forest. The project involves representative of public bodies, farmers, trade unions, associations, among others, from about 20 municipalities of the Ribeira valley region, in the S. Paulo state. The project uses sound mapping tools, combined with participatory methodologies.

I’ve contributed as animator in two regional workshop, in Registro and Juquiá.

Landraces fair boosts quilombola peasants union

Translated from the news appeared on the Instituto Socioambiental website.

A woman from Ivaporunduva showing her landraces and seedlings. Eldorado, October the 23, 2010. Photo by Glenn Makuta.
A woman from Ivaporunduva showing her landraces and seedlings. Eldorado, October the 23, 2010. Photo by Glenn Makuta.

The Feira de Troca de Sementes e Mudas Tradicionais [Fair of Landraces Exchange] presented this year more than 100 etnovarieties of landraces and traditional seedlings. A generous offer of rice, beans, cassava, farmyard chicken – all natural inputs – allowed six cooks, also from the villages, to prepare a delicious collective lunch.

The Fair, at it 3rd edition, counted with new supporters, as of the Núcleo Oikos, as well as with long-standing ones, as the Norwegian Church Aid, while grew the engagement of the Instituto de Terras do Estado de São Paulo [Land Institute of S. Paulo State] and of the municipality of Eldorado and Itaóca. Local business supported with little sums the event too, and that it is very important, showing the involvement of the local society.

The renown the Fair is obtaining in wider circles was proved by the participation of other quilombola (afro-descendant) of the region (Peropava village, in Registro), craftswomens’ groups (Feito a Mão, from Apiaí), urban farmer (Ana do Mel and her family, from Embu-Guaçu), rural trade unions (of Cajatí), governmental bodies, as Ministério da Agricultura [Agriculture Ministry], Sabesp (in charge of the water), Cetesb (environment licensing) and Incra (land policy), among others. A group from S. Paulo, interested in knowing more about quilombola villages participated too, and after the Fair they followed, going to the Ivaporunduva e São Pedro villages, and spending there their week-end.

The landraces call to mind the roça (cropping) issue, that stays at the crossroad of other issues, as: community organization, the quilombola cultural system, biodiversity conservation, income generation, food security, involvement of the young generations and cropping normative framework. These issues were debated during a round of talks, held after the lunch, that involved quilombola villages representatives and invited visitors. […]

New challenges follow the work of those who are involved with roça (cropping), preparing a new fair. The fair, in the words of Ms. Zulmira, from Porto Velho, more than bringing food, brings much union: “For each fair, the sales grow and the relationship strengthen”, she said.

The fair was covered by the Globo Rural. Watch the video here (in Portuguese).

Going round for the next landraces fair

Woman and cultivated plot in Bombas, Iporanga (SP). Sept. 2010
Pict. 1. Woman and cultivated plot in Bombas, Iporanga (SP). Sept. 2010

Old and new house in Cangume, Itaoca (SP). Sept. 2010
Pict. 2. Old and new house in Cangume, Itaoca (SP). Sept. 2010

The river, the plot and the house, in Praia Grande, Iporanga (SP). Sept. 2010
Pict. 3. The river, the plot and the house, in Praia Grande, Iporanga (SP). Sept. 2010

IV Vale do Ribeira’s Research Seminar

Presenting two posters at the IV Seminário de Pesquisa do Vale do Ribeira:

Fanelli, Luca; Pasinato, Raquel. Sementes tradicionais em comunidades quilombolas do Vale do Ribeira (SP) [Landraces in quilombola villages of the Ribeira Valley].

Oliveira Junior, Clovis José Fernandes; Fanelli, Luca. Populações de palmeira juçara em comunidades quilombolas no Vale do Ribeira [Juçara palm population in quilombola villages of the Ribeira Valley].

Italian University students and quilombos create cooking workshops

The table with all the ingredients collected in the Ivaporunduva village. Photo: Luca Fanelli/ISA
The table with all the ingredients collected in the Ivaporunduva village. Photo: Luca Fanelli/ISA

Coming from Piemonte (Italy), the students of the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UniSG) created, together with local cooks, two workshops in the Ribeira Valley quilombos of Ivaporunduva (Eldorado, SP, Brazil) and Mandira (Cananéia, SP, Brazil).

Read more on the Instituto Socioambiental web site (in Portuguese).


Late in October the Brazilian journal O Estado de São Paulo published an article about the trip. See it (in Portuguese).

Sowing sustentability (Euterpe edulis palm)

Sowing sustentability. The juçara and the quilombola villages in the Ribeira ValleySemeando sustentabilidade . A juçara e as comunidades quilombolas no Vale do Ribeira [Sowing sustentability. The juçara and the quilombola villages in the Ribeira Valley] presents, in a simple and pleasant way, some issue related to the conservation, the management and the use of the juçara palm (Euterpe edulis) and, more specifically the results of a project, supported by the Ministry of the Environment PDA programme.

Contents: Map to a scale of 1:160.000 of the project implementation region, pointing out the quilombola villages, the protected areas and the main activities executed – Pictures with explanation – The juçara, the Ribeira Valley and the project: a chronology – The ecological knowledge of the quilombola people about the juçara palm – A participatory tool used to debate within the communities the problems related to the juçara management – Project results – Next challenges – Another experience with juçara palm management in the Atlantic Forest – Elucidation about set of rules about juçara palm.

Sowing sustentability was published by the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), with the support of the PDA Programme of the Ministry of the Environment. I edited this publication, together with Nilto Tatto.

Sowing sustentability is in Portuguese, and an on-line version could be downloaded here.