To bring the Atlantic Forest back from the brink of extinction, over eighty environmental organizations, private companies, governments, researchers, and landowners launched in the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact.
The initiative will promote large-scale forest restoration by coordinating, integrating, and increasing the scale of all restoration initiatives in the Atlantic Forest and also help to protect the existing forest remnants in priority areas for biodiversity conservation.
The Conservancy and many partner organizations have been working during the last two years to develop a vision, set priorities, develop strategies, and generate some key products to support the Restoration Pact. Working groups composed of staff from several institutions were established to develop and implement priority activities and generate the first outcomes of the Pact. The Pact is one of TNC’s priorities and considers the Plant a Billion Tree campaign as one of the main strategy to raise funding to support restoration projects on the ground.
“The loss of forest cover and the highly fragmented forest remnants are major threats to the rich diversity and endemism of flora and fauna in the Atlantic Forest. To reverse the cycle of degradation, maintain the integrity of the biodiversity, and promote the protection and supply of ecosystem services to millions of people that live and depend on the Atlantic Forest, large scale restoration efforts are urgent and needed,” said Miguel Calmon, the Coordinator of the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact and director of the Conservancy’s forest carbon work in Latin America.
During the last two years a team of GIS and Remote Sensing experts from the partner organizations mapped the potential areas for restoration in the entire Atlantic Forest. Even though the goal of the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact is to restore 37 million acres, more than 40 million acres of degraded lands were mapped during this major effort.
The Restoration Pact is also expected to generate millions of jobs for local communities and landowners through seed collection, seedling production, nurseries management, tree planting and maintenance, fencing, and monitoring.
The Pact will also support landowner compliance with the Brazilian Forest Code by creating financial incentives to landowners to restore their set-asides and permanent protected areas such as riparian areas. Other funding sources from carbon markets, water user fees, and forestry investments are also expected to support the cost of such an ambitious restoration effort.
The Atlantic Forest stretches across portions of seventeen states in Brazil and more than 80 organizations have already signed and committed to the vision and goals of the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact. And many others are expected to join in the next several months.
Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact key objectives and activities:
With more than 20,000 plant species, 270 species of mammals, 1,000 species of birds and nearly 500 species of reptiles and amphibians living in the Atlantic Forest, the protection and restoration of the Atlantic Forest is essential to protect this unique biodiversity and assure water quality and quantity to more that 120 million people (70% of Brazil’s population). As climate change has become one of the main threats to people and biodiversity, it is imperative to create mechanisms such as large scale restoration to mitigate its negative impacts and assure a safe place for the future generations.
The restoration of 37 million acres of Atlantic Forest will benefit nature and people in many ways, including: