REDD in Brazil: two case studies on early forest carbon offset projects

In many places where forest carbon projects are implemented, traditional forest use has been blamed for forest loss while the drivers of large-scale deforestation remain unaddressed – and deforestation and the emissions associated with it continue. This article explores some of the controversies that arise when conservation groups or specialist companies, often supported by international agencies like the World Bank, arrive with their forest carbon pilot initiatives. Two early forest carbon offset projects in Brazil, the Guaraqueçaba Climate Action Project in the coastal Mata Atlântica biome of Paraná and the Monte Pascoal – Pau-Brasil Ecological Corridor: Carbon, Community and Biodiversity Initiative in the Mata Atlântica biome of the far south of Bahia left mainly broken promises. The Guaraqueçaba Climate Action Project also severely restricted access to forest gardens. These negative consequences are all too familiar to communities faced with forest carbon projects – or REDD projects as they are frequently referred to since the UN climate talks in 2007.