In partnership with the US based NGO Forest Trends, we started a new cooperation in the Brazilian Amazon to empower indigenous people with sustainable solar technology.
Through their Communities Initiative, Forest Trends has partnered with the Yawanawa and the Surui people of the Brazilian Amazon to support them in the conservation of their forests and improved livelihoods. The agricultural expansion of soy production, cattle ranches and illegal logging for wood are rampant in the Amazon, but the indigenous communities have been fighting against the loss of their forests. Forest Trends supports the communities in securing their rights, livelihoods and culture.
In cooperation with USAID and IKEA Foundation, Forest Trends is supporting the creation of supply chains that allow the indigenous communities to market sustainable harvested forest produce. By supporting the sustainable production of for example roasted nuts, dried seeds and fruits, it becomes possible to leverage local and international markets to improve the livelihoods of the indigenous communities and strengthen their position to protect the forests.
The cooperation between us, Forest Trends and the indigenous communities starts by identifying the most value-adding uses for solar thermal energy and how to best boost the local communities’ livelihoods. For many energy intensive processes, such as dehydrating, roasting and other food processing, the Lytefire technology will allow the communities to tap into the free power of the sun, for processes for which they would have had to use firewood or rely on expensive electricity.
Now that the first phase of the project is completed with good results ("They used the Lytefire from 9:30 to 15:00, shortening the drying time from 4 days to 5 and a half hours!" here), the solution can be scaled to support indigenous communities throughout the world’s rain forests to protect their livelihoods and enable sustainable supply chains.
The first phase was completed October 2018 in the state of Rondônia.
Forest Trends website.