The small Xixuaú community, like other communities on the RESEX, exists almost entirely on the utilisation of natural resources from its local environment – whether they may be obtained via land or water. The production of manioc (cassava), their primary carbohydrate, and fish from the river, are supplemented by small income from community-based tourism and the extraction of other forest product such as Brazilian nuts.
The cooperative has established a rotation system so that 48 families can benefit from the Cooperative to obtain some work as cooks, guides, housekeepers, boatmen and fishermen. For some, this income is supplemented by earnings from Brazil nuts and other forest products but this regime is insufficient in the long term. It is particulary difficult for families to pursue secondary educations due to the lack of facilities in the RESEX and the cost of education in the cities.
The RESEX of the lower Rio Branco, comprising 2000 inhabitants and 14 traditional communities, is under constant threat from social and educational pressures, significant pull-factors to urban areas. ACT’s scheme is designed to fit within the management plan of the newly created reserve of the Baixo Rio Branco - Jauaperi and serve the entire river’s population, ultimately securing the conservation of the pristine Amazon rainforest through assuring the commitment of the local ribeirinhos to act as guardians of the rainforest to achieve true sustainability.