VERENA believes that tropical native species silviculture can become one of the most important industries to allow Brazil to meet its national and international goals of reforestation and recovery of degraded areas and forests, with social, environmental and economic benefits.
Facilitating reforestation with native species on a large scale can generate multiple benefits for the country and constitute one of the most important contributions of the productive sector to the national commitment to the Climate Agreement (Brazilian NDC, Nationally Determined Contribution). Among the main goals regarding the use of land by 2030, there are: restoration and reforestation of 12 million hectares of forests for multiple uses, additional restoration of 15 million hectares of degraded pastures and an increase of 5 million hectares of integrated crop-livestock-forestry (ICLF) systems. VERENA and its partners can make a significant contribution in accomplishing these fundamental goals for Brazil's economy and global environmental sustainability.
Considering reforestation of native species as a large-scale productive activity, means the end of the ideological border that has separated ecological restoration from production silviculture for a long time. Today, both can share the common goal of decarbonizing the economy in the global effort to curb global warming by up to 1.5oC until the end of this century compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels, in compliance with the Paris Agreement.
However, the economies of scale of this model require the structuring of market information still very dispersed and the development of new markets and robust economic modeling, applicable to different production profiles allowing to calculate the return on investment (ROI) and risk.
Promoting improvements that increase productivity — for example, genetic improvement of species or amelioration of management practices and cost reduction by means of a Research & Development program — and strengthening regulations and the fight against illegal deforestation and logging of native products, are some of the pillars of activity on which VERENA focuses its efforts. The establishment of economic incentive instruments, in particular those linked to externalities such as carbon, water and biodiversity, are also the focus of the project's efforts.
In addition to the commercial aspect, which directly benefits investors and farmers who adopt this crop, reforestation with native species enables major environmental and socio-economic gains:
- it allows carbon capture on a large scale;
- it positively impacts the generation of jobs and income in rural areas;
- it contributes to the recovery of soil and the production of water, in more quantity and better quality;
- it reduces pressure on forests, curbing illegal logging and illegal timber and forestry product extraction;
- it contributes to the conservation of biodiversity;
- it increases the resilience of landscapes and communities.