How it works
Local communities surrounding the project area were engaged to understand how they used the land and how to implement alternative income sources. Acre state officials, working on similar conservation strategies at a state level, were included in the process of developing the project plan.
The project tackles deforestation pressure using a combination of environmental and social programs that improve the livelihoods of community members living in the project area. Social projects and programs not only generate sustainable economic opportunities but also reduce deforestation and improve efforts for biodiversity conservation. See community benefits, below, for more information on how this works.
Offsets Made it Happen
The State of Acre historically has a low deforestation rate and a high level of forest governance. Recently, roads have been paved in the area which increases property values and provides people in the region greater access to markets and immigration. This has led to significant forest destruction by the 35 communities living in the project area – mostly for cattle ranching and small-scale farming.
Funds for the project come from providing payments for ecosystem services (i.e., payments for the carbon offsets generated by the project). Funds are used to implement social programs to deter further destruction of the forest. Local communities living in the project area receive a small share of the payments from the institution for various activities that avoid deforestation. Communities are given the right to title for the land for ten years. Giving people greater responsibility and land ownership results in sustainable resource use and livelihoods.
Other Benefits of the Project
Preserving the Amazon Rainforest is vitally important to humankind and the global environment, as well as to local communities as the forests provide a wide range of critical ecosystem services. The project results in less environmental degradation than would have occurred if lands were left to be converted to pasture or croplands. Benefits include:
- Improved water quality for local communities from the Jurua and Valparaiso Rivers
- Secured land for natural flood storage (lessening the detrimental impacts of floods)
- Maintained critical habitat for wildlife – including 26 threatened and endangered species
- Facilitating community outreach and education
- Employing local community members as forest guards or other project staff (to replace other sources of income associated with deforestation and land use)
- Providing agricultural extension training which helps baseline agents increase productivity on current lands (thus reducing the pressure to expand their farms in the adjacent forest)
- Building a local processing plant to industrialize açai production
- Modernizing community manioc houses
- Supporting local farmers’ association
- Assisting communities in obtaining land tenure
- Sharing a portion of carbon-related revenue for communities living on the Valparaiso property (replacing other sources of income associated with deforestation and land use)