Around 1300 members of Brazil’s Suruí Amazon nation have launched the first ever indigenous forest carbon fund at this month’s annual UN Climate Change Summit meeting in Mexico.
The project evolved from an initial contact between Almir Narayamoga, a young Suruí leader. And Forest Trends, a Washington DC based international NGO that was established in 1999 by a group comprised of conservation organisations, forest product companies, research groups, multinational development banks, private investment funds and philanthropic foundations.
Almir has a clear long term vision for the Suruí forest and community. He sees that over the next 50 years their territory will be lusher and more green even than at present, and that his people will share improved health as well as better education as a direct result of rational investment in sustainable development of the funds that will be generated by their avoided deforestation REDD+ project (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).
FUNBIO – a Brazilian Biodiversity Fund – has structured the Suruí carbon fund and plans to oversee its’ administration.
Matthew Owen, Director of the UK NGO Cool Earth congratulated the initiative, saying: “the Suruí represent a beacon of hope for indigenous forest owning communities across the world; for instance, their project bears many similarities to that being developed by Tsimi – the Asháninka Bioclimatic Association in the Peruvian Amazon.”
“The Asháninka project, like its Brazilian counterpart, evolved out of the indigenous forest community itself; when approached by loggers in 2008, the Asháninka contacted Cool Earth via Ecotribal, an organisation devoted to sustainable development in the Peruvian Amazon and long term friends of indigenous communities there.”
“The Asháninka are keen to emulate the Suruí example, having met with the Brazilian indigenous leaders at a REDD+ conference in Lima, Peru’s capital, earlier this year. Cool Earth’s task is to assist this process in every possible way.”
Tsimi – a purely indigenous bioclimatic association – presently manage 54,000 hectares of rainforest owned by 3 Asháninka communities.