Mr. Marcus Andrey Vasconcellos, presenting the Pense e Compense program
By Taís Ludwig
This event featured a presentation by Mr. Marcus Andrey Vasconcellos, the founder of Instituto CO2 Zero. The Institute was officially founded in 2012 at Rio+20, with its main program being inspired by Mr. Vasconcellos’ daughter and a story she created when she was 10 years old, entitled “A Bolsa Verde” (“The Green Bag” in English).
The presentation focused on a new program that has been developed by the Instituto CO2 Zero to assist with REDD+ implementation in Brazil, entitled “Pense e Compense” (“Think and Compensate” in English); its objective is to help create positive incentives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, increase forest carbon stocks, and focus on creating conservation and sustainable management schemes (which include a major focus on respecting indigenous rights and traditions).
The program focuses on supporting both mitigation and adaptation efforts, as well as establishing CO2 emissions inventories. It is also the only program in the country that was elected as a REDD+ mechanism that can be implemented throughout the country (the others that have been selected and registered with the government are only allowed to be implemented at the state/regional level, and not nation-wide).
Mr. Vasconcellos used the examples of smaller projects, like a reforestation project in Piuaí, to demonstrate the approach the program takes to implement REDD+ efforts. The Institute works with its partners to do the necessary social (both anthropological and sociological) and environmental assessments, coordination with local parties to create mitigation and adaptation plans, and the implementation of these plans. Mr. Vasconcellos highlighted the fact that indigenous rights need to be better recognized and protected, and he touched on the need to ensure that proper social and environmental safeguards are taken into consideration throughout the entire process.
Although the program is still in its initial phases, the Pense e Compense program seems to be on the right track to addressing deforestation in Brazil. Hopefully the Instituto CO2 Zero will be able to continue to work towards better implementation of REDD+ throughout Brazil.