Now a day, issues like food security, reduction of deforestation and climate change are
becoming increasingly relevant as global discussion topics. Willing to constantly contribute
towards constructive discussions surrounding these matters, rural producers from the
Araguaia region, located in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, came up with a pioneer initiative
called the Araguaia League.

Focused on the rural development in the Araguaia Valley, this initiative defends the
sustainable intensification of the beef cattle market in the region, while in compliance with the
duties determined by the Brazilian Forest Code and environmental legislation.
Operate by Instituto Agroambiental Araguaia, the Araguaia League’s vision is based
upon the pillars of productivity, conservation, emission reduction and tourism. The project’s
main objective is to instigate the implementation of projects designed in partnership with
public, private, national and international organizations.

The League’s main goals are to:

  • Support the adoption of sustainable intensification practices in the local beef cattle market through the recovery of degraded pastures, environmental regularization and the adoption of good agricultural practices;
  • Replicate sustainable livestock practices through the promotion of training activities (Field Days, Demonstration Units, Workshops, etc.);
  • Encourage cattle ranchers in the region to adopt and monitor practices that contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • Stimulate the conservation and restoration of forest areas (APPs and RLs), through the interconnection of forest fragments;
  • Stimulate mechanisms that value the region’s environmental assets through the regulation of financial compensation instruments for the conservation of forestry and biodiversity assets, such as Payment for Environmental Services (PSA), Reed +, CRAs, Carbon Credit etc;
  • Differentiate and add value to products and services from livestock activities in the region, ensuring economic and financial viability of sustainable livestock practices in Araguaia.

PROJECTS

Partnership:

Housed within the Araguaia League, the Araguaia Carbon Project is being implemented
with the support of Dow and Corteva Agriscience. This initiative focuses on monitoring the
reduction of GHG emissions that resulted from the adoption of sustainable livestock practices in twenty-four livestock farms in the region.

The main objectives of the Araguaia Carbon Project are as follows:

  • Testing installations for soil carbon analysis and monitoring of GHG emissions in pasture plots owned by Agropecuária Água Viva, in Cocalinho, Mato Grosso state;
  • Monitoring the reduction of GHG emissions carried out on 82,000 hectares of pasture, belonging to twenty-four breeding farms that are also engaged in the project;
  • Evaluating the environmental benefits of reducing GHG emissions that occurred as a result of the Olympic Games held in RJ, in July / 2016.

With the assistance of the GHG Protocol Agricultural tool developed by the WRI (World
Resource Institute)
, the project was able to measure the annual emission reduction in the
herds and pastures located on the farms participating in the project from 2015 to 2020.
Considering the emission reduction estimate made at the beginning (2015) it is already
possible to state that the project has contributed relevantly to the reduction of emissions
promoted mainly by the removal of GHG from pastures.

Partnership:

Aimed at supporting the sustainable intensification and forest restoration activities in
the region, the Campos do Araguaia Project is the result of a partnership between the
Araguaia League, Grupo Roncador and TNC, The Nature Conservancy, with the support of the
IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative.

The main objectives of the Campos do Araguaia project were as follows:

  • Support for the intensification activities related to beef cattle in the region;
  • Removing bureaucratic barriers to promote adoption of sustainable intensification
  • practices;
  • Support the restoration and interconnection of forest fragments;
  • Use the acquired knowledge and experience to promote the implementation of public policies that support the items above.

Criada em 1951, a TNC é a maior organização de conservação ambiental do mundo. Atuando em mais de 35 países, vem trabalhando no Brasil desde 1988 onde atua em todos os biomas do país. É sua primeira parceria em projeto de pecuária no Estado de Mato Grosso.

Foram os seguintes os principais objetivos do projeto Campos do Araguaia:

Until April 2019, the date of its completion, the Campos do Araguaia Project assisted 36
producers, corresponding to 59 properties with a total area of 108,000 hectares – 62,000
hectares of pastures, 47,000 hectares of Native Vegetation Areas and 9,500 hectares of APPs.

Partnership:

The Garantia Araguaia project was implemented through a partnership established with
Imaflora and Institute of Forest, Agricultural Management and Certification, with the purpose of fulfilling the following objectives:

  • Developing a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) tool, that will monitor the socio-environmental practices of rural producers participating in the Araguaia League projects – for future compliance and certification according to the rules of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (RAS) / Rainforest Alliance certification;
  • Developing a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Validation and Verification system for the agricultural activities of the members of the Araguaia League. This will be based on the methodology and results achieved with the Araguaia Carbon Project;
  • Development of a market access strategy that recognizes the attributes of quality and sustainability inherent to the production process and products produced within the farms participating in the Araguaia League projects.

The adoption of the MRV tool helps with the recognition of good agricultural and socioenvironmental practices adopted by the ranchers contemplated. MRV will also assist with the expansion of competitive advantages and reduction of GHG emissions. This will contribute to the management and the fulfillment of all production criteria, aligned with the demand for sustainable practices and commitments to the climate agenda.
In its first phase (Phase I), 14 farms were evaluated based on 144 requirements related to four main themes (Carbon; Good Practices; Performance and Governance). These farms represent 35,646 ha of pastures and a herd of 25,643 heads, fully monitored by the management tool. In its Phase II, improving the tool and expanding its use to the rest of the participants of Araguaia League, takes place within the scope of the Araguaia Herd project described below.

Partnership:

In order to validate and seek for a future certification that recognizes the reduction of GHG
emissions accomplished by the farms participating in the Araguaia League projects, a
“Cooperation Agreement” was signed with the CNPGC / Embrapa Gado de Corte in Campo
Grande, city within the Mato Grosso do Sul state. The agreement was named the Low Carbon
Araguaia Project. This project aims to examine the technical feasibility of the “intensification” and “crop-livestock integration” systems for mitigating greenhouse gases, seeking to fit these practices in the guidelines established by Embrapa for the Low Carbon Meat seal.

Partnership:

 The Araguaia Herd project is a partnership established with the JBS / FRIBOI, which aims to
support an initial group of 13 farms, selected from the participants of the Araguaia League
projects, in the effort to increase productivity and sustainable intensification in the local beef
cattle market. Focused on improving the productive management and sustainability of these
farms, the project will provide training and monitoring activities, including the use of
production management tools whilst monitoring the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
This initiative is another effort by the Araguaia League to ensure the improvement of the
productivity indicators and good practices of the farms participating in its projects, attracting credit and investments to the region. This will also meet the growing demand for
differentiated players in the meat supplying market that aim to combine quality attributes and sustainability.

Partnership:

This project is an extension of the Conserv Project, administrated by IPAM, Institute of
Environmental Research. This project focuses on the granting of financial compensation to
producers in the Araguaia League with a surplus of Legal Reserve.
Its objectives are:

  • Recognition of surplus native vegetation areas on private properties in the region;
  • Use of the knowledge and engagement capital of the Araguaia League for the joint
    implementation of a pilot project that will provide financial compensation for surplus areas of native vegetation;

Partnership:

As a result of a partnership signed with the company Raízes Desenvolvimento Sustentável, the Raízes Araguaia Project seeks to strengthen ecological tourism in the region as an initiative for social and economic inclusion, while promoting an increase in income from livestock farms through initiatives in the field of tourism. Focused on a set of environmental attractions, the project started with the elaboration of a program called “Programa Incluir: Turismo Roncador- Araguaia”, aimed at strengthening tourism as a tool for economic development and social inclusion.

Currently representing around 62 farms, corresponding to 150,000 ha of pastures and an
estimated herd of 130,000 heads, the Araguaia League has the support of several
organizations. Among them, it is worth mentioning the GTPS (Sustainable Livestock Working
Group), the PPI program administered by the Mato Groso state (Produce, Preserve and
Include), Acrimat (Association of Breeders of Mato Grosso) and Famato (Federation of
Agriculture and Livestock in Mato Grosso).