The 16 State Conservation Units benefited by the programs developed by FAS had a deforestation reduction of 40%, between 2008 and 2021. The total area corresponds to 10, 9 million hectares of Amazon forest
The Amazon continues to resist the recent setbacks in the fight against deforestation and the climate crisis. It resists, but only with great difficulty: in the last four years alone, more than 45 thousand km² of the biome were taken away, including within public lands, which were designated for environmental protection.
To curb destruction, “zero deforestation” is a commitment embraced by local populations in areas supported by FAS and the results are showing. In the counterflow of destruction, in 16 Conservation Units with conservation projects coordinated by FAS, deforestation was reduced by 40% between 2008 and 2021.
The reduction of deforested areas was a collective achievement and that had the protagonism of the forest people. The effects are from the Bolsa Floresta Program, a public policy of the Amazonas State Government and implemented by FAS. The initiative covered a territory of more than 10,9 million hectares, with the mobilization of more than 582 communities from north to south of the state. With a systemic and pioneering approach, the program integrated income transfer, community empowerment, education and entrepreneurship activities in favor of forest conservation.
“The model goes beyond the simple payment for environmental services; it is a process of engagement of these populations in the conservation and deforestation reduction agenda”, points out Virgilio Viana, general superintendent of FAS.
With the Amazon forest standing, the residents of the Conservation Units (UCs) and the planet, which suffers and faces the consequences of the climate crisis, win. With the reduction of deforestation in the areas where the Bolsa Floresta Program has been effective, it is estimated that the emission of more than 17 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere has been avoided. This gas is one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for the crisis.
In 2022, after 14 years of operation and positive impacts of protecting the Amazon environment, the Bolsa Floresta Program was reformulated and renamed “Guardiões da Floresta”. In partnership with the Amazonas State Secretariat of Environment (Sema-AM), FAS remains on its mission to support the defense of the Amazon forest and the strengthening of local communities.
“After the creation of the Bolsa Floresta Program, communities have developed more, community leaders had training. The program has only developed and added values to the culture of the community”, says Viceli Costa, president of the Mother Association of the Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS) Rio Negro.
“The program has this importance of maintaining this preservation of the environment through the participation of these families involved in the meetings and public policies, generating education, income and knowledge“.
Raimundo Leite, community leader in the Puranga Conquista Sustainable Development Reserve (AM)
Check out the book “Bolsa Floresta Program: trajectory, lessons and challenges of an innovative public policy for the Amazon “, which highlights, among other results, the reduction of deforestation in the Conservation Units served by the program: