Photo: Marizilda Cruppe/FUNBIO
The Instituto de Pesquisa e Formação Indígena — IEPÉ (Indigenous Qualification and Research Institute) is a non-profit, civil-society entity founded in 2002. It has spent the last 19 years working within indigenous territories in Amapá and northern Pará, home to hundreds of indigenous villages and dozens of peoples, as well as other communities in the vicinity of these ITs and PAs, including nut-harvesting, riverine, and fishing communities and quilombos (Brazilian maroon colonies).
IEPÉ will carry out the project with agro-extractivist families living inside and around the National Forest of Amapá. Some of these families are organized as a community-based association, called the Associação de Mulheres Extrativistas do Araguari – Sementes do Araguari (Women Extractivists of Araguari Association — Seeds of Araguari). The members work the National Forest, extracting non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as crabwood, fava bean, diesel tree, oil bean, and breu oil, all tapped using traditional methods. The yields are then sold for processing into phytocosmetics.
The general aim of the project is to support the Women Extractivists of Araguari Association in its pursuit of best product-management practices, harvest viability, and the management of other NTFPs (the vine Heteropsis flexuosa [Kunth], and the various ornamental plants living in trees marked for felling under the timber-management plan), fostering the application of adequate techniques and tools throughout the extraction and production process whilst also buttressing the multiple-use management of the National Forest and the region’s bioeconomy as a whole.