Envol Vert has been a Civil Society Organization working for more than ten years in the jungle of Peru. Its function is pretty simple : lower the negative impact of agriculture on the Amazonian forest by implementing safe and sustainable agroforestry systems (SAF). One of its most important aims is to gather all the different organizations by creating a collaboration network to share all the knowledge required to be able to manage the creation of a new SAF. This article introduces this new initiative, comes back on the different steps of the creation of the network and presents all the challenges still to face in 2023.
The Agroforestry Exchange and Sustainable Actions Network (RAFIAS) is a platform gathering many protagonists that was created in 2021 in Pichanaki, province of Chanchamayo, Junín, in the central Peruvian jungle. Its aim was to promote the sustainability of the coffee sector through innovation and implementation of SAF, which benefits are double. FIrst of all, these systems ensure the amazonian forest protection, but also better standards of living for the farmers.
Logo of the Agroforestry Exchange and Sustainable Actions Network (RAFIAS)
We could affirm that the network was born in november 2021, when Envol Vert gathered many protagonists of the sector in the first “agroforestry meeting”, consisting of two days of dialogues, encounters, et spaces of sharing in Pichanaki. That was the first time that such a reunion was organized to find common solutions. These two days of reflection led to the creation of the steering committee of the platform, initially composed of six organizations (Envol vert, El Cafeteador, Cooperativa Selva Alta, Devida, Descocentro y el Ministerio de Desarrollo Agrario y Riego) all committed in implementing solutions that have been identified and finding new ones.
The six months that followed have been dedicated to define more precisely the platform through its mission, its work, the name of the network and its logo. Thus, it can be defined as a technical platform composed by a union of public and private organizations and of civil society organizations, all highlighting the necessity of the sustainability of the SAF. Furthermore, to achieve its goals, the networks thought about spreading its own experiences, underlining three particular points : protagonists need to get new techniques totally integrated, the incomes and recognition they deserve and young people and women need to be involved in the process of saving forests.
In June 2022, RAFIAS was officially borned. The acronym is a reference to a palm tree from America and Africa that gives a very resistant and flexible fiber. The organizations wanted to the name to focus on the recycling of the natural fibers such as the aguaje (Mauritie sp), the chambira (Astrocaryum aculeatum), the celtico (Cecropia membranacea) and some other species that can be used to create ropes, bags, clothes or other items in peruvian Amazonia.
Through this name, we really wanted to affirm the vision and the values of the network. The ties and the nodes typical of raffia are a reference to each organization working together. The union of diverse organizations is RAFIAS. Furthermore, raffia is traditionally a natural and sustainable product, just like the vision we all have of a coffee sector bearing on the implementation of SAF.
For now, and until April 2023, the committee is compounded by 13 private and public organizations :
Civil society organisations