Acre Amazonian Rainforest Conservation
The project aims to prevent deforestation in 35,000 hectares of pristine rainforest in Brazil's Acre state, home to the Amazon basin and some of the world's most biodiverse habitats.
The Acre Amazonian Rainforest Conservation Project is a REDD+ project, working with communities and local groups to use carbon revenues to help protect ecosystem services while providing alternative models of economic development that avoid forest destruction. The project aims to conserve nearly 35,000 hectares of mainly pristine rainforest by halting the threat of deforestation from infrastructure development, commercial agriculture and slash-and-burn practices.
Acre is Brazil's western-most state and is entirely within the Amazon basin. The project area is located alongside the Purus River, and is one of the world's most biologically diverse regions. Over the first 10 year period the project is expected to produce approximately 120,000 tonnes per year of emission reductions. In order to accomplish its goal, the project will generate sustainable economic opportunities for local residents while mitigating deforestation and preserving the area's rich biodiversity. An extensive stakeholder consultation and analysis was conducted in order to build a successful project based on an understanding of the assets and services most valued by the community. Activities include the diversification of agricultural production through growing bananas, chickpeas, cassava and corn, with education on how make the crops profitable; artisanal processing of fish; rearing organic pigs; and using rotational cattle pastures.
The project is the first REDD+ project in the state of Acre to achieve dual-validation to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCB) with Gold Distinction. With deforestation and forest degradation accounting for approximately 18% of global emissions, projects like this have the potential to be one of the most significant ways to lower global greenhouse gas emissions, while also having the added benefits of biodiversity and ecosystem protection.
Located on the Purus River, a major tributary of the Amazon, the project protects important inland water ecosystems providing benefits such as pollution and nutrient absorption and recycling, flood management and drinking water supply. Tropical forests are home to 70% of the earth's species of plants and animals and the western Amazon area contains perhaps 30,000 endemic plants. Scarlet Macaw, Amazon River Dolphins, Squirrel Moneys and Great White Herons have been observed within the project area. One critically endangered and five endangered flora species were also identified in the area as part of a rapid biodiversity assessment. Greater connectivity to the surrounding area enables the project to also provide protection for other species by keeping the larger habitat intact; the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified a variety of plant and animal species in Acre that are either vulnderable or endangered, including the Woolly Monkey, Black-faced Monkey and Goeldi's Monkey.