March 21st is International Day of Forests. Tropical Forests have evolved over sixty to one hundred million years and they provide life supporting ecosystem services that are rich in biodiversity. The tropical forest is a complex and delicate system of interconnected relationships. The Natural Forest Standard offers a framework for the protection and conservation of forests and the carbon, biodiversity and unique ecosystems within them, while also providing benefits for local communities.
The Trocano Araretama Conservation Project is the first project to be successfully validated and verified under the Natural Forest Standard. It is located in the Municipality of Borba, Amazonas, Brazil and covers an area of 1.3 million hectares. The Trocano Araretama Conservation area is home to an abundance of biodiversity. There are approximately 2,500 different species of fish and birds and over 3,500 species of trees. The forest is threatened by the advance of deforestation and degradation for cattle ranching and farming, mechanised agriculture and illegal logging.
The project protects the forest against deforestation, and conserves the biodiversity that is present while providing a range of benefits for the communities within the project area by:
- Strengthening of Environmental Monitoring, Communication and Intervention Systems
- Generating Income through Sustainable Business
- Community Development and Scientific Research and Education
There are 10,700 inhabitants within the project area that are benefiting from the implementation of the project. During the past year, a number of activities have occurred including the construction and refurbishment of infrastructure, community centres, schools and health centres. In November 2014, the project funded the formation of the NGO Iakira, which will be responsible for the implementation of project activities, ensuring that the project is run for local people, by local people.
To date, the Trocano Araretama Conservation Project has achieved verification of avoided emissions totalling over 15 million tonnes of CO2e.