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BRAZIL
Earning through environmentalism
6/24/2009
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Indigenous groups enter the carbon market.

The Tembé-Ténêtéhar people of the Alto Rio Guama reservation signed an agreement in mid-June with renewable energy management company C-Trade.

The US-based firm, which manages renewable energy projects using carbon credits, signed a deal for US$500,000 a year for the indigenous group.

“The C-Trade proposal benefits us,” said Valdeci Tembe, leader of the Susuarana, community, one of 14 that comprise the Alto Río Guamá reservation in the northern Para state.

The Tembé-Ténêtéhar people, who live on a 279,000-hectare (690,000-acre) reservation, are under constant threat by logging companies, many of which operate illegally on their land.

According to the Environmental Research Institute of Amazonia, each hectare of the reserve annually captures 145 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Under the deal, the Tembé-Ténêtéhar families will receive a monthly payment by C-Trade, part of their carbon credits, which they are expected to, in turn, protect the forest. It is estimated that for every hectare of preserved forest, 4 metric tons of carbon dioxide is absorbed.

The indigenous families will receive 85 percent of the value of the credits on the international market, and the C-Trade will receive the remaining 15 percent.

“We´re selling the idea of preservation,” said Juscelino Bessa, of the government-run National Indian Foundation.

“As Brazil is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, there is nothing more just than for the indigenous people to receive a payment for their environmental services to the country,” said Felício Pontes, a state prosecutor in the Para state.
—Latinamerica Press.


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