Forest conservation in Pará, Brazil
“Várzea” in the Amazonian river basin in the Brazilian state of Para represents a unique ecosystem. The island Marajó is permeated by waterways and the land has been moulded by small and local farmers for centuries. The Amazon River is seen as a major transport artery, fostering farming and livestock breeding. This is associated with increasing deforestation, leading to harmful effects on the surrounding ecosystem and climate as a whole.
The Ecomapuá Project protects 97,000 hectares of forest and prohibits commercial logging. It creates alternative sources of income for the local families situated in the region, such as trading of Acai, a fruit native to the region. Not only is it popular in Brazil, but it has seen a surge in demand by industrialized countries who term it a ‘superfood.’ Since the project promotes development in one of the poorest regions in North Eastern Brazil, it is certified under both the Verified Carbon Standard and Social Carbon Standard.
Contribution to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs)
Improved livelihoods and income generation for 800 families in one of Brazil's poorest areas.
Sponsorship for a school (meals, teacher salaries, infrastructure); fire brigade training for local families.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Jobs for >50 members of the COAMA cooperative for the sustainable cultivation and sale of açaí.
Responsible Consumption and Production
Production of organic açaí and other sustainable agroforestry products instead of deforestation.
The project saves an average of 72,330 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Life on Land
Protecting a highly endangered ecosystem including endemic plant species; plan for afforestation with native species on 2,000 hectares.
How does forest protection help fight global warming?
Forests, especially tropical ones, store CO2. For projects aimed at combatting climate change, there are essentially three methods for creating and sustaining forestry as a carbon sink:
- forestation and reforestation
- sustainable forest management (where the amount of timber harvested does not exceed the amount that can grow back)
- financial incentives for the protection of forestland as a carbon sink (the UN's REDD+ program), whereby the project owner must ensure that tree cover is maintained