FOR PROTECTING WATER FROM CRISTALINO RIVER ECOTURISM, PRIVATE NATURAL HERITAGE RESERVES (RPPNs) AND CRISTALINO PARK.

FOR PROTECTING WATER FROM CRISTALINO RIVER ECOTURISM, PRIVATE NATURAL HERITAGE RESERVES (RPPNs) AND CRISTALINO PARK.

Brazil
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Pioneer and strongly transformative ecotourism project for a protected area, which goal is environmental sustainability and social work, both responsible for positively highlighting on this region on national and international ecotourism map. This project is located in an area marked by deforestation and inappropriate usage of environmental resources.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The region, in which the project is located, is very close to the Arco do Desmatamento, an area of great conflicts between development and environmental conservation. In only two generations, 600.000 km2 of the Amazon were deforested (an area 2,4 times larger than the state of São Paulo). In general, the cycle begins with the opening of new areas for logging, then forests areas are burnt, and grass is introduced into the soil for creating pasture. Currently, cattle farms represent over 60% of the agricultural areas inside the Amazon. For the number of the endemic species is high in this region, the loss of genetic heritage is even more worrying. In terms of Economics, this loss removes diverse opportunities for development, which includes fiber, pharmaceuticals, resins and synthetic products productions, as well as the management of the forest for hardwood timbers production, and usage of the forest as tourism asset. In Alta Floresta only, exist about 700,000 heads of cattle, which puts this municipality on forth position on the ranking for the municipalities with higher numbers of heads of cattle in the state of Mato Grosso.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Cristalino River is a tributary of Teles Pires River that together Juruena River forms Tapajós River, which is one of the largest rivers at the right bank of the Amazonas River. Cristalino River rises in the Biological Reserve (REBIO) of Nascentes, state of Pará, crosses Cachimbo Air Force – that belongs to the Brazilian Air Force – enters the Cristalino State Park and RPPNs areas to its mouth, being completely preserved. We do an alliance between the development of ecotourism project – Cristalino Jungle Lodge (CJL), for conserving Cristalino River Basin – and large areas of primary forest by means of private reserves from CJL (RPPNs). This project also supports diverse actions focused on environmental education, regeneration of degraded areas and scientific research through the Fundação Ecológica Cristalino (FEC). CJL offers a complete atv itinerary that includes trekking, observation of wild lives, canoeing, observation of the landscape and specialized birdwatching. Our installations were accurately projected to promote the perfect balance between rusticity and comfort to guests. Each of our accommodations is equipped with showers heated by solar panels, system for biological treatment of waste and is decorated by natural materials, which emphasize our concern to environmental sustainability. Furthermore, CJL preserves a particular form of 12,000 acres of primary forest (an area almost 7 times larger than Fernando de Noronha Archipelago). Due to vary tourism actions and researches realized in this region by CJL, the government of the state created on 2000/2001 the Ecológico Cristalino Park (PEC) that is located around of CJL private reserves. Ecotourism has made possible to preserve Cristalino River Basin, which is located in one of the richest areas of the Amazon in terms of biodiversity. That proves it is possible to conciliate the protection for river basins and forests with the economic return of responsible ecotourism.
About You
Organization:
Cristalino Jungle Lodge
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Vitoria

Last Name

da Riva Carvalho

Organization

Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Country

, MT

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Organization Phone

55(66) 3521-1396

Organization Address

Av. Perimetral Oeste, 2001 – 78.580-000 Alta Floresta/MT,

Organization Country

, MT

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, MT

Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?

Yes

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Yes

Impact
What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

CJL clients: by ecotourism means it is possible to change behaviors and influence people and organizations from other regions and countries. Examples like the sustainable architecture, biological treatment of waste, the way to operate the paths are taken as models by other places.
Tourism sector in Mato Grosso state: this pioneer project put the region of Alta Floresta on the tourism map of Mato Grosso state and of Brazil, which contributed to local development by conciliating the great diversity from South Brazilian Amazon with its responsible usage. This influenced the implementation of a State Park with 184,000 acres in this region, in such a substantial way that this example may be replicated in other regions.
Researchers: Through FEC and partners, it has been possible to realize tens of scientific researches on these regions, which was practically unknown by science till then. These researches include studies on birds, ichthyofauna in Cristalino River, water quality, flora, great mammals, and air quality, among many others.
Income Generation: This project essentially employs people from the community of the region in 90% of the positions, and it gives training. The project also favors the purchase of local products like organic greens and fruits, cereals, handcrafts, and others.
Students and Community: Especially in the PEC surroundings – Alta Floresta, Novo Mundo and Carlinda municipalities – we realize actions for environmental education, which focus is to sensitize on the relevance of the conservation of forests, and its headwaters and rivers. Other actions also include the recovery of degraded areas and recovery of headwaters.

Actions

This project brings the new trends for conciliation among conservation, sustainable usage of a property and economic return into practice in the Brazilian Amazon. It presents concrete actions to implement new responsible economic models that incorporate the usage of architecture environmentally healthful, renewable energies, forest and river basins conservation and income generation. One result to describe is that it has been possible to conserve the Cristalino River Basin and its surroundings, mainly where the project and the PEC are localized.
Researchers: FEC, with partners, has already started the recovering of over 26 degraded areas in Carlinda, where it is possible to acknowledge good production practices experiences and restorations of headwaters, conducted by the community on its own. In these properties, the usage of pesticides and fire on the pasture has been banned, and experiences on agroforestry and organic production have been implemented. Currently, headwaters in Mariana Basin – in Alta Floresta – are being recovered.
Over 2,000 teenagers have been benefited by activities on environmental education. Further information on: www.escoladaamazonia.org.

Results

CJL is prepared to be an example of sustainability to all jungle hotels situated in remote areas, especially in the Brazilian Amazon. The low impact of its tourism activity and infrastructure on the groundwater and rivers, the usage of biological sewer, as well as other sustainable resources, show the viability of conservation versus income generation and river basins protection.
Up to now, we have already received 15,000 tourists – approximately – in our Jungle Hotel. We have also developed a pioneer activity for birdwatching. Thanks to this project CJL region became the main place from the whole Brazilian Amazon for this modality of tourism – this region possess 1/3 of all Brazilian birds of a universe with 1,800 species of Brazilian birds.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Fist year: The conclusion of the architecture projects in the infrastructure area, and the beginning of its implementation in CJL; The creation and implementation of new projects on environmental education, which goal is to achieve about 80% of scholars from the local communities; The creation and implementation of new projects for the conservation and income generation for communities that surrounds Cristalino River Basin; The effort to make partnership with governmental spheres closer for strengthen the Conservation Units (UCs) monitoring.
Second year: The implementation of physical projects of infrastructure in CJL (continuation); The review and strengthening of FEC projects on environmental education, income generation, research and conservation in Cristalino River Basin; Maintenance of UCs monitoring, especially to fight fire by training people to join the brigade.
Third year: The conclusion of the infrastructure projects in CJL and strengthening of marketing actions; The strengthening of FEC projects by expanding the network for supporters to the referred organization; Maintenance of partnership in governmental spheres and strengthening of actions for monitoring fire.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

There are some elements that could prevent the success of this project: 1. Lack of capital to invest on the necessary infrastructure to the accomplishment of the project; 2. Inability from FEC to raise enough capital to expand actions that generate a positive relation between human and environment and/or to implement sustainable economic alternatives for PEC surroundings; 3. Inability for monitoring and supervising protected areas – in this region – by government.
CJL needs to accomplish the investments to complete its planned physical infrastructure, and, by this, make possible to finish the project for satisfy clients better. The social areas (restaurants, interpretation/lectures/library room, and kitchen) are inadequate compared to the renovation of the apartments, which is already finished. CJL also needs to invest on photovoltaic energy for complementing the hybrid system (hydrokinetic energy, conventional generator and photovoltaic energy) – an example of low impact tourism related to the energy generation in Amazon.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for more than 5 years

In what country?

, MT

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

FUNDAÇÃO ECOLÓGICA CRISTALINO-FEC

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Partnerships promote earning for all involved parts, since they are well managed. Currently, we operate in collaboration or partnership with the Tourism Development Secretariat from Mato Grosso - SEDTUR; Environment Secretariat from Mato Grosso State – SEMA; Commerce, Industry and Tourism Secretariat from Alta Floresta; Environment Secretariat from Alta Floresta; Environment Ministry – MMA; Tourism Ministry – MTUR; EMBRATUR; Local, State and international NGOs; Local Producers Cooperatives; National and international tourism associations; companies that finance FEC projects; Local, State and Federal Universities; IBAMA; Instituto Chico Mendes; national and international magazines and newspapers; and national and international TV programs. We also search for partnership with high technology companies, like the ones on photovoltaic energy.
As the years passed by, an important relationship was built with many international and national NGOs: Fauna & Flora International; WWF; Fundação Boticário; Instituto Ouro Verde; Instituto Centro de Vida – ICV; Wildlife Conservation.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Fist year: For a continuity in making the difference in Amazon region and having the possibility of replication in other Amazon regions, it is necessary to have this reached sustainable tourism model in Alta Floresta region recognized and supported by local, state and national agencies, as well as other institutions for development to implement diverse actions like: a) Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) planning and execution in the RPPNs; b) Project and implementation for infrastructure areas and renewable energy in the CJL.
It is FEC responsibility to implement the Plano de Manejo das RPPNs (RPPNs Management Plan) to be executed over the next 5 years starting in 2011.
Second year: About CJL – to continue the actions from first year (LAC and infrastructure and renewable energy investment).
About FEC – Review and strengthen of new projects from FEC on environmental education, which goal is to achieve about 80% of scholars from the local communities; The creation and implementation of new projects for the conservation and income generation for communities from PEC surroundings, research and conservation of UCs of Cristalino River Basin by the effort to make partnership with governmental spheres closer, especially for fighting fire by training people to join the brigade.

Third year: About CJL – Conclusion of CJL infrastructure projects and strengthening of marketing actions;
About FEC – The strengthening of FEC projects by expanding the network for supporters to the referred organization; Maintenance of partnership in governmental spheres and strengthening of actions for monitoring fire.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

The moment that determined it came with the decision on 1990 for acquiring an Amazon primary forest area at the right bank of Cristalino River, with the aiming of preserving the forest, conserving Cristalino River Basin by means of an ecotourism project, and contribute for the mentality present in the region by that time, where there was no belief in the possibility of business and environmental conservation living together. It is important to emphasize that Cristalino was the only river not affected by the Gold Rush that started on 1989 and lasted untill 1992 and that left a great environmental and social liable in the region.
An RPPN, recorded with perpetuity, with the goal for conserving the biological diversity in Brazil. The creation of an RPPN is a volunteer act by the owner of an area which the biggest beneficiary is the environment. The regulation of the RPPNs is exercised by the Decree no. 98.914/1990.
Fundação ecológica Cristalino (FEC), which was found on 1999, is a non-governmental organization, which headquarters is placed in Alta Floresta, North side of Mato Grosso, and it operates in the Cristalino State Park and in other towns of the surroundings. FEC works for conciliating conservation with regional socio-economic development, thus FEC organizes its programs and projects in an integrated way. It works with local, regional and national partner institutions and it has produced successful results in the following fields: private land conservation, environmental education, researches and works with rural communities. Further information: www.fundacaocristalino.org.br.
The Cristalino State Park (Cristalino I and II) was created by the Law 7.518, on September the 28th of 2001, and Decrees 1.471, on June the 9th of 2000, and 2.628, on May the 30th of 2001; it has a total area of 184.900 acres, in the Alta Floresta and Novo Mundo municipalities.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I believe my biggest motivation came at the end of the 80’s, when the Gold Rush in Alta Floresta region disfigured my dad’s dream. My dad’s name is Ariosto da Riva and he was the one to found Alta Floresta municipality. His dream was based on offering opportunities to small farmers with the plantation of products from Amazon (cocoa, guarana, cupuaçu and extraction from chestnut). But at the end of the 80’s the small farmers abandoned their plantation due to the acknowledgement of gold in the region. Most part of the farmers could not find it. When they came back to their plantation, they found ruined crop and impoverished soil.
This was the beginning of a new productive cycle: cattle. However the way of grow it, extensively, generated a large deforestation that was not planned in the initial design. Furthermore, the growth of the population and the expansion of the exploitation of natural resources (mainly woods) in lands with little or no supervision also directed contributed to the loss of huge forest areas.
It is important also to emphasize that – because of the fact that Alta Floresta (and all the towns up to the North of Mato Grosso) is a young town (few years over 30) there is no strong cultural and/or historical connection between the population and the forest (differently from the traditional communities that are placed inside the Amazon). This dissociation also contributes for a disordered exploitation of natural resources.
This reality challenged my creativity for discovering ways to work in this region. Ways that would go to the opposite direction of the described events. My dream was to implement a sustainable activity in the region. Hence the purchase of an area of the primary forest with the goal of conservation and ecotourism development, and that started per a simple camp on 1992, and nowadays it is recognized for it is an example of responsible tourism.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Email from Changemakers

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

(até 50 palavras)

MIF Opportunity 2010
Has your organization been legally constituted or registered in your country or one of your target countries for at least three years?

Yes

Does the applicant organization have sufficient financial resources to guarantee the co-financing required by MIF during the execution period of the project? (This amounts to at least 50% of the project’s total budget with 25% in cash and 25% in-kind.)

Yes

Does the applicant organization have experience managing projects co-financed by international organizations? Please describe below

We have never realized co-financing.

Please classify the applicant organization according to the options below

Enterprise/Profit corporation

What problem-area does your project address?

How will your project address this problem?

CJL is located in one of the most important regions of the whole Amazon in terms of biodiversity. According to the PROBIO, this is an area of “extreme relevance for the conservation of the biodiversity”. Nevertheless, CJL is also close to the Arco do Desmatamento, an area of great conflicts between development and environmental conservation. In only two generations, 600.000 km2 of the Amazon were deforested (an area 2,4 times larger than the state of São Paulo). In general, the cycle begins with the opening of new areas for logging, then forests areas are burnt, and grass is introduced into the soil for creating pasture. Currently, cattle farms represent over 60% of the agricultural areas inside the Amazon.
In this context, CJL works as a model for protecting local biodiversity. By the creation of the RPPNs, CJL preserver – currently – 12,000 acres of primary forest, a area 7 times larger than Fernando de Noronha. This initiative is sustained by the concept of responsible tourism. This concept has been applied in this region and created a new tourism destination in Brazil.
Because of research actions inside the RPPNs, CJL – with FEC – generated an important base of scientific knowledge in a region that was little explored by science till then, which includes research on birds, mammals, fishes, heperto-fauna, flora, water, carbon, among many others. This knowledge, together the success for its tourism destination, influenced the state government to create the PEC at CJL’s RPPNs’ surroundings; a UC of extreme relevance in Amazon.
Nevertheless, CJL also realize many social actions in this region by FEC means, especially at PEC surroundings, with the goal of make the quality of life of the local communities better. Among the initiatives, the highlight goes to projects for environmental education determined “Escola da Amazônia” (a reference for environmental education and the winner of United Kingdom Whitley on 2007), and to projects for the rehabilitation of degraded areas and headwaters.
Therefore the project presents the following goals: 1. The conservation of the local biodiversity by means of a responsible business; 2. The promotion of research and the dissemination of knowledge; 3. The improvement of the quality of life for the local population per the creation of a positive relationship between human and environment.

Who is benefited by the initiative? (Please highlight the type and number of beneficiaries, and their role in the tourism value-chain.)

The beneficiary public of the project are the clients of the CJL (until the present moment, CJL have already received 15,000 tourists approximately), the hired collaborators from the local community (95% of the labor force), the local community which is benefited by programs supported by CJL and realized by FEC and partners (Escola da Amazônia program has already achieved 2,000 students).
It is important to emphasize that the CJL clients are from diverse countries, which reduces the operational risk of the business. They present a very attractive demographic profile, due to a higher average age (between 40 and 70 years), an elevated income per person, high level of education and strong awareness of the environmental issues.

How will the project's results assist the region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises?

With the full success of the project, the entire region will benefit from the increased income, the conservation of the local biodiversity and from a better qualify of life for communities that surround the PEC. Nevertheless, the project will be able to serve for reference of other initiatives in the Amazon region.

A. Total Budget (100%)

US$400.000

B. MIF Contribution (up to 50% of total budget and US$. 500.000 max)

US$200.000

C. Cash co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)

US$100.000

D. In kind co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)

US$100.000

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