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The project aims to prevent deforestation and protect some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats.
Brazil has the largest tropical forest area in the world, making up 61% of its total land area in 20101. This accounts for about one third of the world’s remaining rainforests, including a majority of the Amazon rainforest2. Brazil is a priority for REDD+ projects to address continued pressures from cattle ranching, agriculture and logging, which led to almost one million hectares and 63 million tonnes of carbon being lost each year between 2010 and 20153. The State of Acre has the third smallest economy of Brazil’s 27 states, and roughly 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Per capita income is the 8th lowest in the country, though GDP has grown substantially in recent years.
Nearly 90% of the land in Acre is forested, but at current trends of deforestation this is estimated to decline to roughly 65% by 2030. Tropical forests are the most carbon-rich and biodiverse habitats on Earth, home to 70% of the Earth’s species of plants and animals. Acre State’s remaining tropical rainforests not only provide climatic benefits such as sequestering carbon dioxide, but also provide a range of critically important ecosystem services.
This collection of three projects are located along the Purus River, Jurua River and Valparaiso River: Acre – 35,000 hectares, Rucas – 42,000 hectares, Jurua – 28,000 hectares. The overarching objective of these projects is to build sustainable economic livelihoods for the local residents while preventing deforestation across 105,000 hectares of rainforest, primarily caused by conversion for cattle pasture and farming. The projects, which are based on privately-owned land, are working with NGOs to engage communities on granting land tenure and developing alternatives to deforestation to deliver emission reductions and preserve crucial ecosystems.
Further details on alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals
- Good health and well-being: Communities living within the Acre project area have historically lacked access to adequate health services as a result of the remote location. To improve community livelihoods, the project ihas facilitated doctor visits from local towns on a periodic basis, known as the Itinerant Health Programme. The projects also plan to build local health centres and dental clinics, providing consistent local community access to improved medical facilities and services. The clinics will hire and train a local community member to provide basic first aid, and a small pharmacy will also be provided for basic medicine distribution.
- Quality education: The projects have hosted agricultural courses to support diversification of agricultural production and household income, while raising awareness of the benefits of avoided deforestation. To raise awareness of the importance of conservation in schools, lessons are being incorporated into educational programmes. The project aims to improve the quality of education for local youth through school infrastructure developments, such as building new classrooms to offer separate learning spaces for different grades.
- Decent work and economic growth: The projects have recruited workers from the local area to assist with the forest carbon inventory, regional deforestation and land-use modelling. Jobs are also created through the installation and monitoring of wildlife via wildlife camera traps and local project management, assisting delivery of project goals.
- Life below water: Located on the Purus, Jurua and Valparaiso Rivers, important tributaries of the Amazon, the projects incorporate important inland water ecosystems that provide benefits such as pollution and nutrient absorption and recycling, flood management, drinking water supply, and mitigation against the impacts of climate change. The Acre project is helping to rehabilitate degraded areas along the riverbank through reforestation activities, helping to combat riverbed erosion and polluting sediment levels in the water, while enhancing overall protection of watersheds through decreased deforestation.
- Life on land: The project areas are part of a key habitat for several endangered and vulnerable species, while the proximity to other large intact forest areas increases overall habitat connectivity. The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified a variety of plant and animal species in Acre that are either vulnerable or endangered, including the Woolly Monkey and Black-faced Monkey (both endangered), Goeldi’s Monkey (vulnerable), and 16 species of flora that are endangered or vulnerable but are currently protected through this project. Within the Acre project area specifically, Scarlet Macaw, Amazon River Dolphins, Squirrel Monkeys, and Great White Herons have also been observed.
1. World Resources Institute Brasil (2015) Forests, Available from http://wribrasil.org.br/en/our-work/forests, Accessed 7/9/2015
2. Butler (2014) Mongabay – Brazil, Available from http://rainforests.mongabay.com/20brazil.htm, Accessed 7/9/2015
3. FAO (2015) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, Available from http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4793e.pdf, Accessed 15/9/2015