The Observatory for Sustainable and Healthy Territories in Bocaina (OTSS) is a project focused on citizens’ action. Through the project, social technologies will be presented and developed by community members and researchers from FIOCRUZ and FUNASA to generate innovate and critical knowledge, thus assisting the promotion of sustainable development and health in the territory of traditional communities in the Bocaina region, which covers the northern coast of São Paulo State and the southern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, with some 50 traditional communities belonging to three ethnic groups: caiçaras (coastal and fishing communities of mixed indigenous and European descent), indigenous peoples, and quilombolas (descendants of African slaves).
Surveys conducted in the territory by researchers from FIOCRUZ and local community members identified the needs for measures in ecological sanitation, specially designed education, agroecology, and community-based tourism. With the implementation of ecological sanitation, the concept of healthy territories was consolidated through experiences focusing on the reduction of inequities, promotion of autonomy, and sustainability of traditional communities.
The project also features the “OTSS Space”, a house located in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro State, where workshops and meetings are held. The site was created for the development of territorialized solutions based on the ecology of knowledge, with the potential to become regional, alternative strategies to guarantee the rights of traditional communities, especially rights related to territory, culture, traditional activities, and quality of life.