CIFOR-Media Advisory: Compensation project pays off for forests and people ‘Forest allowance’ protects Brazilian Amazon by incentivizing sustainable land use

 

28 March 2014 — A Brazilian program that rewards families for conserving forests shows promise for reducing deforestation and helping small farmers improve their livelihoods, a new study co-sponsored by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) shows.



The Bolsa Floresta — “forest allowance” — program provides direct payments to families in exchange for conservation and other public goods. A study of the program in two Amazonian regions found that most of the participants — mainly small farmers who depend heavily on forest resources — reported that they were better off than before Bolsa Floresta began. Deforestation rates, although low from the outset in the remote forests where the program is implemented, were also slightly lower in those areas than surrounding regions.



Those results point to possibilities for conservation incentives in other parts of the Amazon that may face even greater deforestation pressure from logging and ranching, researchers said — if such programs and the provided incentives are tailored to local situations.



The Bolsa Floresta program reinforces conservation through a combination of community development, payment for environmental services, provision of public services and support for community organizations, said Sven Wunder, senior economist at CIFOR heading the Brazil office, and a co-author of the study. Families agree to comply with the reserve’s management plan and limit the amount of forestland converted  for swidden farming. They must also participate in a local association and send their children to school, if there is one nearby.



The program — launched in the Brazilian state of Amazonas in 2007 — targets families living in Brazil’s Sustainable Development Reserves, which were established to enable residents to combine sustainable land and forest uses based on a management plan. By 2012, Bolsa Floresta benefited more than 30,000 people in and around 15 forest reserves covering more than 10 million hectares.



“The program requires that people adhere to the rules and do a little bit more, and compensates them for that additional effort,” Wunder said.



Each family receives a payment of about US$33 a month. Failure to comply with regulations could result in a warning, or even suspension of payments. The local association receives an amount equal to 10 percent of the family stipends for activities benefiting the members. Each community also receives  investments in income-producing activities that are in line with the reserve’s management plan, such as the processing of farm products, non-timber forest products, fish farming or ecotourism.



“The cash transfer helped many families to cover basic expenses for food and clothing,” said Jan Börner of CIFOR, who co-authored the study. “Many residents also reported that the reserves are better protected from people from outside who used to fish or log illegally in the reserves.”



One key benefit of Bolsa Floresta is that it supports local conservation efforts that help protect against invasion of the reserves by outsiders, Wunder said. Although many people blame small farmers for clearing forest, “in thinly populated, remote areas that are dominated by smallholders or indigenous people, most of the deforestation is usually done by people who come in from outside to cut timber or clear land for cattle ranching,” he said.



A reserve with people in it provides a buffer against that deforestation, and Bolsa Floresta can reinforce that by providing greater incentive for conservation.

 


Monetary income levels for families in the reserves are so low that even the small monthly stipend becomes an important cash injection, Wunder said. That might not be true in a place that is more closely connected with markets, or where there is more timber production or cattle ranching. In those places, the size and combination of incentives should be tailored to the particular situation, he said.



The study found that deforestation had decreased about 12 percent more inside the reserves than in the rest of the state of Amazonas since the Bolsa Floresta program began, resulting probably in a modest difference of about 1,500 hectares of additional forests preserved from deforestation.



“It allegedly protects forests from the local people, but at least as much protects them for the local people,” Wunder said. “These people can become better allies of conservation, and one advice to the implementers from our report was to link the rewards more to active local monitoring against external degrading forces.”



The Bolsa Floresta program is managed by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (Fundação Amazonas Sustentável, FAS), which co-sponsored the study with CIFOR and the Center for Development Research (Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung, ZEF) at the University of Bonn in Germany.

 

For the Full article, please consult the following link: Here

Go back

CBFP News

Resources and follow-up from the virtual FAO-EcoAgriculture Partners Roundtable

Last April 30th FAO and EcoAgriculture Partners organized a virtual Roundtable on Territorial Perspectives for Development, in which over 170 people participated.

Read more …

ATIBT -CBFP: Private Sector mobilized around the CBFP Facilitator of the Federal Republic of Germany

ATIBT co-facilitated the mobilization of the private sector of the timber sector to participate in the first meeting of the private sector college of Congo Basin Forest Partnership with the new facilitator Dr Christian Ruck and his team German Facilitation.

Read more …

Development and institutionalization of a PAFC certification system for the Congo basin: opening of the second public consultation on Sustainable Forest Management Certification Standard, 23 May 2020 - 22 June 2020

This second public consultation will be open for a period of 30 days from tomorrow Saturday the 23rd of May 2020 and will be closed on Monday the 22nd of June 2020. The public consultation is open to all stakeholders of forest management in the Congo Basin interested in participating to the PAFC Congo Basin certification standards development process.

Read more …

Forest defenders on the COVID-19 frontline stand ready to assist the global EU response – Fern

These efforts go hand in hand with ensuring continued responsible management of natural resources and preventing unsustainably and illegally sourced forest commodities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, forest-monitoring organisations Observatoire de la Gouvernance Forestière (OGF) and Réseau des observateurs indépendants des ressources naturelles (RENOI) are set to carry out COVID awareness-raising in at-risk forest areas, and will also assess COVID’s impact on forest management and governance commitments under the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI). Across the Congo Basin, fears that a proper lack of oversight may put forests and forest peoples in danger are looming despite emerging initiatives.

Read more …

22 May 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity

The theme of the 2020 International Day for Biological Diversity is “Our Solutions are in Nature”. It shows that "Biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future."

Read more …

Watch our new video – UICN

On the occasion of the World Biodiversity Day, this new PPI video proposes to illustrate this question of biodiversity conservation and the links with local economic development. It shows two testimonies, one of Alexis Kaboré (NATUDEV) who develops sustainable value chain of honey and shea butter in the PONASI complex in Burkina Faso and one of Caleb Ofori (Herp Ghana) who implements a national ecotourism project in the mountains of eastern Ghana.

Read more …

COVID-19 and smallholder producers’ access to markets - FAO

In a pandemic such as COVID-19, measures to limit the spread of the virus require physical isolation and various levels of restrictions on people’s movement, and in some cases complete lockdowns. Inevitably, these measures cause transportation delays and bottlenecks in the flow of goods and services, including in the agricultural sector.

Read more …

CBFP News Archive

2020