Environmental compensation to preserve 11.3 million ha in the Amazon

This area can be legally deforested inside private properties in the biome

Environmental compensation to preserve 11.3 million ha in the Amazon

Structured incentive models for rural producers could preserve up to 11.3 million hectares inside private properties in the Brazilian Amazon and avoid 474 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The conclusion was presented in the study “Slowing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: avoiding legal deforestation by compensating farmers”, published in the scientific journal Frontiers, this week.

The area is larger than states of Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte combined, and this amount of emissions would correspond to 75% of the annual reductions promised in the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2015.

The study was made by researchers from IPAM (Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia) and the Woodwell Climate Research Center, in the United States.

“The text makes clear the role of creating incentives in order to mitigate legal deforestation and reducing suppression of the rain forest as a whole, whether permitted or illegal”, explains Marcelo Stabile, researcher at IPAM.

As an example, the study presents the Conserv, a private financial compensation mechanism that currently remunerates rural producers in the Legal Amazon. These farmers are committed to preserve native vegetation areas that, by law, could be deforested.

“This business model helps to avoid legal deforestation and emissions related, in addition to mitigation of climate change, stablishing ecological corridors and habitat for biodiversity”, adds Stabile.

Extra income

Conserv is a concept developed at IPAM after two years dialogue with rural producers in partnership with Woodwell Climate Research Center and the EDF (Environmental Defense Fund).

Launched in 2020, the model intends to show forests have an intrinsic value for providing ecosystem services and maintaining biodiversity. This value, therefore, needs to become a source of income for rural landowners.

So far, the program has nine contracts signed, concentrated in the state of Mato Grosso and has already made 25 payments to producers related to 8,410 hectares.The initiative forecasts to contract more 20,000 ha of native vegetation from 20 and 30 farms this year in the Legal Amazon, including the Cerrado and the Amazon biome.