APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The commitment is based on a participatory process and organized in by the following goals/activities and expected results:
Goal 1: To promote regional seminars to debate the payment for environmental services mechanisms and its contribution for the biodiversity conservation in the region, and to engage local stakeholders. Large and medium size producers, small holder cooperatives, NGOs, cocoa traders and buyers, and researchers will be involved to identify opportunities and challenges for implementing PES and to define a work plan for it.
Regional stakeholders are identified, engaged, and supportive to the development of a payment for an environmental services regional-based mechanism;
Regional awareness is raised on the importance of biodiversity protection and the maintenance and enhancement of forest carbon stocks and water production;
Regional producers are supportive to the adoption of measures for the maintenance and enhancement of environmental services;
Goal 2: To identify, in a multi-stakeholder process, the environmental services in the region and the activities needed to maintain and enhance those services - matching research, field activities, and dialogs with local stakeholders.
Environmental services in the region, including biodiversity, forest carbon stocks, and water, are identified and mapped;
Regional stakeholders are informed about the identified environmental services and recognize those as important to be maintained and enhanced for the livelihood of local people;
Goal 3: To identify the potential market opportunities for the mechanism, through the connection with the environmentally-friendly marketing of cocoa and the involvement of large buyers of certified cocoa through interviewing specialists in the cocoa value chain, traders, and final buyers of cocoa products in the region.
Large buyers of certified cocoa are aware about the environmental services that are present in the cocoa production region and are supportive to the payment for environmental services mechanism;
The mechanism is tested with one or two large buyers to identify the feasibility of implementation on a larger scale;
Goal 4: To develop and test a pilot mechanism of payment for environmental services in the region.
Regional producers adopt measures for the biodiversity protection and the maintenance and enhancement of forest carbon stocks and water.
Large cocoa buyers engage in the project and test the payment for environmental services through the environmentally-friendly marketing of cocoa.
Goal 5: To develop and disseminate the participatory methodology for the regional and multi-stakeholder discussion on payment for environmental services mechanisms, including a systematization of the method adopted, the results achieved, and the lessons learned.
The methodology adopted in the Project, as well as the results achieved and the lessons learned are described in details in a publication;
The publication is printed, presented in seminars and regional forums, and widely distributed;
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
January - June 2011: Goals 1 and 2
July - December 2011: Goal 3
January - June 2012: Goal 4
July - December 2012: Goal 5
The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is one of the most threatened biomes of the world, and is listed as one of the top five hotspots for biodiversity conservation. It has approximately 20,000 species of plants, 8,000 being endemic, and 1,361 species of animals, 567 being endemic. Only 7.3 percent of the original cover of 1,290,692.46 square kilometers remains in Brazil.
The ecosystems of this region are severely threatened by the expansion of urban areas, tourism infrastructure, and the replacement of cocoa by other crops and land uses, such as monocropping and pastures. Cocoa production is done by big and medium size farms, and a mosaic of small holders and settlements of former landless people. The maintenance of the crop is critical to the conservation of the forest, its biodiversity, and the livelihoods of local people.
The unique concentration of social and environmental diversity in this region creates a special condition for a pilot study on payments for environmental services in Brazil, one that could provide important lessons for future mechanisms to be replicated in other regions. There is a clear connection between the livelihood of local people and the maintenance and enhancement of carbon forest stocks, water production, and biodiversity protection. And this is highlighted by the importance of the sustainable production of cocoa and its potential insertion in the market place, a market where large chocolate companies and cocoa processors demonstrate openness to valuing environmentally-friendly products. The combination of high yields, certification, market differentiation, and payment for environmental services will add significant value to the forest and to livelihoods, and contribute to forest conservation.
IMAFLORA has worked for 15 years to build capacity in producers: promoting best practices socially, environmentally, and in production; and making connections across forestry and agriculture value chains. In partnership with the Rainforest Alliance, IMAFLORA is also the main certifier of FSC and SAN (Sustainable Agriculture Network) standards in Brazil. IMAFLORA will build capacity at the field level, raise interest in the cocoa industry, define methods and protocols for payment for environmental services (PES), and make connections between supply and demand.