BRCarbon joined several entities in the public sphere, third sector, educational institutions and private initiative in the expansion of the Mantiqueira Conservative Program (Programa Conservador da Mantiqueira), through the Grouped Reforestation Project of Mantiqueira (MRGP). The MRGP is a carbon project that is being built in accordance with the standards of the voluntary emissions market VCS (Verified Carbon Standard) and CCB (Climate, Community and Biodiversity).
A 100% Brazilian Climate Tech, BRCarbon intends to leverage the initiative through its Restoration Acceleration Program (PAR), which raises financial resources from the carbon market to promote natural climate solutions. Project management involves the adoption of innovative strategies and cutting-edge technologies to accelerate, multiply and consolidate the Serra da Mantiqueira Grouped Reforestation Project.
The Mantiqueira Conservative Program seeks to restore the landscape in the Serra da Mantiqueira region of influence. The site is home to sources of important rivers that feed the Furnas reservoirs, in Minas Gerais, where the electricity that supplies the largest metropolitan regions in Brazil is produced.
In total, the program covers 387 municipalities in São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro and seeks the forest restoration of an area that could reach 1.2 million hectares. According to Diego Serrano, BRCarbon’s technical director, reforesting an area of this size would have the potential to remove around 360 million tons of CO²e from the atmosphere in 30 years, which would be equivalent to almost 20% of total annual emissions in Brazil.
The Mantiqueira restoration project has a very important role in the efforts to combat global warming, as it acts on two fronts simultaneously: in mitigation, through the removal of carbon from the atmosphere; and in adapting to the effects of climate change, through the recovery of forest cover in watersheds.
The Serra da Mantiqueira region also stands out for being fully inserted within the Atlantic Forest biome, considered one of the main global biodiversity hotspots, as it is one of the most biodiverse biomes on the planet, with a high degree of endemism and a marked level of degradation. It is estimated that only 12% of the original forest cover remains, which is home to more than 8,000 endemic plant species. The remaining forest fragments of Serra da Mantiqueira include different phytophysiognomies, such as ombrophilous forests, mixed ombrophilous forests (araucaria forest), deciduous and semideciduous seasonal forests, in addition to high altitude fields.
The Conservador da Mantiqueira Program is based on positive experiences in the protection of springs and demonstration units of agroforestry systems implemented by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and local partners. Its expansion involves the following agents, in addition to BRCarbon: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), World Resources Institute (WRI), International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN), SOS Mata Atlântica, Conservador das Águas, National Water Agency (ANA), Agricultural Research Support Foundation (FUNDAG), and Green and Conservation International Initiative.
The MRGP aims to add financial assets from the carbon market to the initiative, allowing rural landowners to be more attractive by paying for environmental services – and, consequently, expanding the reach of restoration initiatives in Serra da Mantiqueira. Three main restoration techniques underpin the project: full planting, nucleation and regeneration conduction. These will be implemented on private properties with degraded soils, abandoned areas or unproductive pastures, preferably in riverside APP areas, such as riverbanks, lakes and springs.