Summary of EA programme

In many parts of the Pantanal, ecosystems are being degraded or converted, which affects their ability to provide vital environmental services to society in general, and in particular the poorest rural areas in this region. This may result in increased poverty, greater vulnerability to natural disasters, conflicts due to scarcity of land, water and natural resources, and biodiversity loss. These new developments as hydro, mining, infrastructural and agriculture projects, tend to exclude local communities in decision-making, as well as excluding them from the management of the Pantanal River Basin natural resources.

Objectives of the Ecosystem Alliance (EA)
In order to address the aforementioned constraints, the EA supports local initiatives in Pantanal component through a small grants approach. Past small grants experiences in the region (Ecosystem Grants Program / Socio Environmental Fund CASA) have proven the importance of supporting small local organisations working towards addressing local environmental issues in the Pantanal.

Project level
The five selected project proposals are geared at preventing the further loss of ecosystems services and livelihoods in the Pantanal through raising the awareness of local communities on the impacts of large economic projects as well as enabling local leaders to participate effectively in the planning, management & monitoring of the Upper Paraguay River Basins natural resources. Activities will be carried out by Alliance partners in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. Even if localities may differ, the main objectives are the same:
• Increase social and environmental responsibility in the corporate sector
• Enhanced capacity and information access of local communities so that they can participate effectively in decision-making and environmental and natural resources management
• Improved information and transparency on developments related to hydro, mining, infrastructural and agriculture projects

The macro level of the EA Pantanal program component will be geared at reinforcing the capacity of the five local partners and their target groups in relation to setting a ‘joint’ lobby agenda and enabling existing frameworks for community participation in the Pantanal. Main entry point will be through the different types of River Basin committees. This level will focus on strengthening the synergy and the articulation of the local partners and the formulation of a lobby action plan.

Partners EA Pantanal

Sociedade Fé e Vida
The present project is the fruit of a long process of social participation in the defense of the Paraguay River. In 2010 the organization Sociedade Fé e Vida proposed the formation of the Pre-Committee of the Paraguay River focusing on the threats mentioned above in terms of a joint perspective, popular participation, and geared at addressing the demands of local populations.

Specific objectives:
- To develop in the course of a year meetings with organizations in municipalities and the regions involved
- To create a favorable environment for the local mobilization
- To organize meetings with public authorities made responsible for policies in the Pantanal

MUPAN - Mulheres em Ação no Pantanal
To Mobilize leadership and expand women's access stimulating them and qualifying them for participation in processes of discussion, deliberation and decision of the various segments sharing concepts on gender, water and environmental education, seeking gender equity in these spaces, using tools as ‘distance’ education/learning.

Specific objectives
- To mobilize women on issues as gender, water resources and environmental education, and are occupying spaces for discussion, deliberation and decision
- To disseminate information on gender, water resources and environmental education, encouraging participation and social control in public policy.

Instituto Gaia
This proposal aims to coordinate, mobilize and collect the perceptions of local communities that are affected and non-affected by the above mentioned developments focusing on the construction of over 100 small dams. They will participate in policy discussions and actively promote policies aimed at limiting the environmental impacts of hydroelectric projects and provide a base for the defense of their rights as citizens - link with the Ramsar Convention and the Biological Diversity and Agenda XXI.

Specific objectives
- To make a diagnostic of the local communities in the affected region as well as launch the participate project planning
- To mobilize the local communities and identify local leaders
- To produce Informative and didactic material concerning harmful hydro/mining, agricultural and infrastructural projects and their impacts and how to lobby
- To share and stimulate dialogue on project results and between different stakeholders
- To create an observatory for the Pantanal on harmful hydromining

Fundação Neotrópica do Brasil (FNB)
This project is based on fostering the exchange of information in this region to strengthen citizenship and achieve community empowerment. Thus, this proposal aims to create a network of eco-communicators covering the region of Bodoquena, Beautiful, Garden, and Puerto Murtinho.

Specific objectives
- To create and operationalize four communication hubs one per city, equipped with computer, internet access and digital camera and camcorder
- To empower local communities to better communicate, act, investigate and promote the local and regional changes they desire

Instituto Centro da Vida (ICV)
The project's goal is to encourage and strengthen sustainable production practices in the region through appropriate technologies, capacity building, technical assistance and market/ natural systems researches in order to improve governance over natural resources and income of the families; as well as strengthen local organizations so they can, with autonomy, foster more debate about the sustainability of smallholders farming and natural resources in the region. Moreover, the proposal aims to collect data on smallholder agriculture in the region (socio economic) that may support proposals and / or the appropriateness of public policies for the sector in the region.

Specific objectives
- Ecological management of pasture and restoration of degraded areas
- Environmental regulation of settlements
- Strengthening the existing sustainable initiatives in the region
- Support grassroots organizations and research on smallholder farming in the region
- Quantification of carbon stored in riparian areas and quantification of carbon balance in pasture systems under different management

Geographical and thematic focus areas

Greening Business Practices.