Photo: Andrés Medina via Unsplash


New research published on the importance of indigenous territories for rainforest protection

The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest in the world and a important carbon sink. However, it is on the verge of becoming a carbon source. The southeastern Amazon already emits more carbon than it sequesters. A new study by the World Resources Institute has now reconfirmed that forests managed by indigenous peoples in the Amazon still store more carbon than they emit. However, areas outside indigenous territories have become a source of carbon overall, partly due to systematic clearing for agriculture. The study thus underlines the need to support indigenous peoples and other local communities in protecting their forests and conserving the remaining carbon sinks in the Amazon.

In addition to the World Resources Institute study, a research team from DIE ZEIT, The Guardian and SourceMaterial recently found that compensation projects in the rainforest do not deliver what they promise. An international research team evaluated one third of the rainforest projects (the most widely used by companies) certified by Verra, the world's leading certification body, and came to the conclusion that 90 percent of the certificates are worthless. This evaluation alone corresponds to false certificates amounting to 89 million tonnes of CO2. This clearly shows how problematic offset projects are. Objective evidence that offsetting actually leads to more climate protection often does not exist.

These findings also confirm Climate Alliance's long-standing positions on offsetting and rainforest protection. However, the pressure on Amazonia is increasing and without indigenous peoples there will be no rainforests in the long term. For this reason, Climate Alliance continues to cooperate with indigenous partners in Amazonia and supports them in preserving their territories. The Climate Fund of Climate Alliance is a new instrument that will soon be available to member municipalities and other supporters to make their contribution to the protection of the Amazon.

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