About the project:
Brazil’s degraded land surface amounts to 140 million hectares, according to the latest information from the Department of Forestry of the Ministry of Environment, and deforestation is expected to continue increasing at a considerable rate. Intensive agriculture is a major contributor to this process: the total grain cultivation surface increased by 80% between 1996 and 2006. The result? Lower yields, biodiversity loss, degraded soil, unstable water supplies, and local populations that struggle to earn a decent living from this deteriorated land.
Though a partnership with the SLB Group, a unique forestry program located in the agricultural state of Paraná, Initiative 20x20 partner MIROVA will restore 1,400 hectares of land degraded by intensive agriculture. The project has already 2,500 hectares of successful, FSC-certified plantations in Brazil and 1,500 hectares of preserved forest. To date, the company provides work to about 300 people in the area and supports increased living conditions for its workers.
In alignment with the Principles for Ecosystem Restoration to Guide the United Nations Decade, this project applies the following aspects to distinguish itself from traditional eucalyptus monocultures:
- Small and well-spread plantations that reduce pressure on ecosystems compared to large-scale models, guaranteeing higher biodiversity levels. SLB plants in a mosaic system, on smaller land plots, to preserve natural resources.
- Planting in areas that have been degraded by intensive farming, deforestation, and overgrazing. The project focuses on land that was affected by intensive agriculture, notably conventional palm oil and soy plantations, to enable land restoration and soil improvement.
- Applying a lower planting density compared to traditional timber plantations to preserve natural resources. SLB uses a lower density than its traditional peers in the region, allowing restoration of hydric capital and natural resources as well as growth of high quality and value-added wood.
- A strong commitment to biodiversity and habitat restoration. SLB’s plantations have an average of 40% of managed land dedicated to the conservation and regeneration of native habitats. This supports biodiversity, with various species returning to SLB plantation areas – including the puma, recently sighted after a 15-year absence. To date, more than 1,500 hectares are being preserved, and SLB has identified over 27 species of interest.
- A carbon strategy that quantifies the atmospheric CO2 captured. In SLB’s planted forests and conservation areas, it is estimated that the project will enable sequestration of up to 200,000 tCO2e.
SLB has also developed a patented input, “Terra Fertilis”, an organic, biochar-based fertilizer that significantly reduces the use of agrochemicals while supporting tree growth, soil health and soil organic carbon levels. SLB’s research and development in this supports EMBRAPA’s efforts to promote the use of biochar on a wider scale in the forestry sector in Brazil and worldwide.
To support this restoration and promote sustainable forestry, Mirova is providing a $12.6M investment to SLB through its Land Degradation Neutrality Fund. In the coming years, the group aims to expand this model and restore up to 20,000 hectares of degraded land, not only making a significant contribution to sustainability in Brazil’s forestry sector, but also engaging in even more active conservation and restoration.