Bridging the gaps between community businesses and responsible markets


The Amazon region in Brazil has been facing escalating rates of deforestation and land degradation, leading to substantial impacts on the ecosystem and on communities that depend on the use of natural resources. This poses a threat to both climate stability and the livelihoods of rural communities, including indigenous peoples, traditional groups, and smallholder settlers.


Preserving the Amazon and promoting its regeneration requires a combination of measures to combat illegal deforestation and to safeguard the rights of these communities to their land and way of life. It entails developing solutions that sustain their livelihoods and foster socio-economic development. One solution is to adopt a forest bioeconomy approach, which involves the sustainable utilization of forest products.


However, forest bioeconomy products, harvested and produced by local community enterprises in Brazil, currently lack competitiveness in national and international markets. Community enterprises and their products face challenges both on the offer as well as demand side. This includes gaps in business development, barriers to access markets and a lack of adequate financing.


To address these challenges, the Trafigura Foundation has established a partnership with Conexsus (the Institute of Sustainable Connections), a Brazilian civil society organization.


The Conexsus project aims to develop a sustainable commercial framework to better connect local bioeconomy community enterprises with potential buyers and larger markets.


This includes, working with community enterprises and stakeholders on the demand side to develop a minimum set of requirements and commercial protocols, to enable and strengthen commercial relationships. Project stakeholders will also develop a custom-made tool for community enterprises to better monitor and report on the socio-economic and environmental benefits of their production. This will increase their ability to effectively communicate the added value of their products to prospective buyers. Lastly, the project will also work on measures to improve access to adequate financing schemes.


Ultimately, the project aims to contribute to empowering community enterprises to become robust and resilient drivers of income and livelihoods generation, forest conservation, and the transition to a low-carbon economy.


The project supported by the Trafigura Foundation is part of a larger Amazon strategy that Conexsus is implementing, since 2020, with the support of Norway´s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI), the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA), the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).


In 2023, Conexsus was honoured with the Skoll Award for their remarkable achievements. The Skoll Award 2023 recognizes Conexsus’ outstanding efforts in tackling the complex challenges facing the Amazon region and their commitment to creating sustainable connections that benefit both the environment and local communities.


For more information about Conexsus, please visit their website.

Two-year grant (2023-2024)

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