Supporting the local economy while conserving the forest
The concession of the Flona de Altamira demonstrates the benefits of well-managed, sustainable forest concessions to reduce deforestation in the Amazon. The forest is located along the highway BR-163, one end of which travels through the state of Mato Grosso in what once was dense rainforest and now is the centre of Brazilian agri-business. It continues to western Pará, a troubled area where representatives of the logging industry, agri-business, cattle farming, illegal mining, indigenous peoples, locals, and environmental agencies and NGOs regularly clash.
The concession is held by Patauá Florestal SPE, an entity created by five local entrepreneurs – all owners of small and medium-sized enterprises within the timber industry – for the sole purpose of managing the concession of the national forest. As the wood is processed within the vicinity of the town of Morais Almeida, Patauá and its partners currently employ around 500 people directly in a variety of roles: management of the concession, logging, wood processing, and logistics. Further, an estimated 1,500 jobs have been created indirectly in businesses supplying goods and services to the forest sector.