APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Through inclusive development, the social actors are in the center of the process of development, which Guayak? believes is the key to creating a healthy and productive collaboration. Communities must generate revenue from their eco-system services (including sustainable harvest of timber and non-timber resources) in order to create a sustainable funding source for sustaining and restoring their ecosystems.
This commitment will focus on establishing a sustainable native yerba mate annual management plan to create an initial economic driver for supporting the community over the long-term. The implementation begins with a community workshop on social and environmental awareness, generating a list of common needs and longer term vision for the community and how yerba mate will play a key role in achieving these common social and environmental goals.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Guayak? will be onsite for one week per month to facilitate the development and management of an annual sustainable management plan. This includes work on financial literacy, long-term planning, quality control, organic and fair trade certification processes as well as key infrastructure improvements that create a working foundation for accomplishing the social and environmental goals of the community.
The financial goal is to generate income to the Marrecas Community of ,000 in year 1 and ,000 in year 2 through the purchase of native, rainforest -grown yerba mate.
The large environmental goal is to sustain and restore bio-diversity within the community's 40,000 acres which represents some of the last remnants of the subtropical Atlantic rainforest with is rated as a top 5 environmental hot spot. This goal will be accomplished by the end of Year 2, and is an ongoing process funded by the annual harvest of yerba mate. Guayak? estimates that the Marrecas Community could generate ,000 annually by 2015.
Guayak? will partner with universities through their sustainability initiatives and student-led clubs to launch an education campaign around sustainability and Market-Driven Restoration. The target will be 50 universities in Year 1 and 200 in Year 2.
Rainforests are among the most bio-diverse and productive ecosystems on the earth, yet they are being destroyed at alarming rates. Traditional conservation strategies have effectively sustained millions of acres of rainforest, but as population densities increase and competition for land and resources intensifies, these protected areas become islands in a sea of environmental catastrophe and the cost of managing these projects is escalating. At the same time, Indigenous communities who have strong cultural and spiritual ties to the land they inhabit are a powerful force for conservation and restoration yet they are often left out of traditional conservation strategies. Not only does this accelerate the cycle of poverty and threaten the viability of the conserved lands, but it works to eliminate the cultural diversity and knowledge that the local people embody.
One of the leading causes of deforestation is commercial agricultural, including commercial yerba mate. However, yerba mate natively grows beneath the rainforest canopy, which means that shade-grown organic yerba mate can be utilized as an economic driver for sustaining rainforest. Guayak?'s commitment to partner with Indigenous landowners creates a market-based system for protecting rainforest while creating a learning-based enterprise that enables the local community to learn the technical skills necessary to thrive at the fulcrum where cultural traditions balance with complex multi-national trade. By creating a profitable economic model the community funds forest management and engages in strong governance systems so that all parties can thrive in a bio-diverse and culturally diverse world. Importantly, this model can be shared and duplicated in communities around the world so that these systems can be scaled effectively.
SEEKING: Financial Resources, Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities
Financial support in the amount of $500K in grant financing over the next 2 years and $750K in equity financing over the next 6 months.
Grants will fund the implementation of the various social programs within the community and establish the native tree nursery. Equity financing will apply to sales and marketing efforts in the US and abroad in order to scale demand for rainforest-grown yerba mate which will drive the economics of the community over the long-term.
OFFERING: Implementing Partners, Best Practice Information, Media/Marketing Opportunities
Guayakí has learned a great deal through successful partnerships with the Aché in Paraguay and seeks partnership opportunities to share and learn best practices around project management, biodiversity enhancement and quantification of social and environmental impacts. Guayakí also features key mission partners on customer-facing literature and packaging.