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Amazonas State to Set a New Standard for Brazil with Presentation of Carbon Emissions Certificate to Marriott International

September 5, 2016 Responsible Tourism No Comments Print Print Email Email

Brazil made history today when the State Secretary of Environment for Amazonas (SEMA), on behalf of the State Government of Amazonas, and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), delivered its first-ever certificate of carbon emissions reduction to the US-headquartered hospitality company Marriott International.

Niki

L to R: Antonio Ademir Stroski, State Secretary of the Environment of Amazonas; Niki Zoli, Director of Social Responsibility and Community Engagement, Marriott International; and Virgilio Viana, director-general of the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation

The presentation will take place during the Climate Summit of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico. This is the first time in Brazil that  a certificate has been issued by a partnership between state government, a private institution and a non-governmental organization. The document is not transferable.

The certificate states the reduction of 400,000 tons of dioxide-carbon (tCO2) by activities at the Sustainable Development Reserve (RDS) Juma, municipality of Novo Aripuanã, between 2006 and 2013, through the partnership and support of Marriott International, FAS and the Government of Amazonas. The Juma REDD+[1]project aims to curb deforestation and associated  greenhouse gas emissions in a 2,770-square-mile area with significant land-use pressure in  Brazil’s north western Amazon rainforest. To date, 96 percent of the Juma reserve – home to over 2000 residents in 39 communities – remains covered by rainforest.

“The Environmental Services Law of Amazonas State allows these kind of investments to be executed in benefit of traditional community residents in Conservation Units (UCs) as well as to develop innovative strategies of conservation and deforestation control,” said the Amazonas State Secretary of Environment, Antonio Stroski.

“This project is a milestone for the Amazon. In addition to curbing deforestation, it also helps to improve education, health, energy and income generation for the riverine communities. The ‘Juma project’ is emblematic for being the first REDD+ initiative in Brazil to have international validation by the standard CCB. This delivery opens doors for new fundraising for environmental conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon,” said Virgilio Viana, director-general of FAS.

Marriott’s support for the project began in 2008, with a donation of USD 2 million to help protect the reserve, in addition to additional in-kind support and fundraising efforts. Marriott hotels in Brazil in particular continue to support the project and are exploring opportunities to expand the products from the reserve that they feature in their hotels. Brazil nuts are currently featured on several of the hotel menus. In the next phase of project, the clients will also have the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions around the world.

“Marriott’s long-term environmental strategy is focused on supporting innovative conservation efforts that extend beyond our hotel doors,” said Niki Zoli, Director of Social Responsibility and Community Engagement at Marriott International. “Marriott was an early supporter of the Juma project and we continue to see the benefits of investing in protecting the Amazon – for the thousands of people living in the Juma community as well as our planet.”

The ceremony was held during the Annual Meeting of the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force (GCF) and concurrent Climate Summit of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico. In addition to Amazonas State Secretary of Environment and FAS’ director-general, Niki Zoli, Director of Social Responsibility and Community Engagement, Marriott International, accepted the certificate on behalf of Marriott.

The Juma REDD+ project was the first project in the world certified as “gold level” in the Climate, Community and Biodiversity standard (CCBS). The goal of the project is to support the Juma SDR as part of an overall strategy to stop deforestation in the state of Amazonas, consequently avoiding the emission of approximately 3.6 million tons of carbon (2006-2016), which would be issued by illegal logging. By 2050, it is expected to reduce about 190 million tons of CO2.

The evaluation of the project by the State Government demonstrates that this partnership has shown positive results by decreasing CO2 emissions, improving riverine communities’ welfare and making the Juma REDD+ project an international model to inspire other countries and communities.

Legal basis
The issue of this certificate is based at the Article 17 of the State Law on Environmental Services #4,266, from December 1, 2015

The Sustainable Amazonas Foundation (FAS) is a Brazilian nongovernmental organization, with no profitable motives, of state and federal public utility. It was created on February 2008 by means of a partnership between the Government of the State of Amazonas and the Bradesco Bank. Afterwards, it started to count on the support of the Coca-Cola Company Brazil (2009) and Samsung (2010), in addition to 114 other partnerships.

The mission of FAS is to promote the sustainable involvement, the environmental conservation and the incensement of the quality of life of the riverine communities of the State of Amazonas. The main initiatives are implemented by the Bolsa Floresta Program (PBF), Educação e Saúde Program (PES) and Soluções Inovadoras Program (PSI).

FAS benefits 574 riverine communities in Amazonas State, reaching approximately 40 mil people.

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