Amazon today announced the launch of the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, a global environmental organization. The Accelerator will create a more sustainable source of income for thousands of local farmers in the Brazilian Amazonian state of Pará, while also restoring native rainforests and fighting climate change by naturally trapping and storing carbon.
Amazon’s initial investment in the Accelerator will support 3,000 farmers and restore approximately 20,000 hectares—a land mass approximately the size of the City of Seattle—within three years, removing up to 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through 2050.
The Nature Conservancy will work together with the World Agroforestry Centre and several local civil society organizations to implement the Accelerator by helping small farmers restore degraded cattle pastures to native forest and agroforestry. The agroforestry systems will provide farmers with a sustainable source of income through the sale of cocoa and other crops. The Accelerator will also experiment with innovative ways to support farmers and nurture markets for sustainable forest-based commodities, including with digital technologies, and will advance new methodologies and satellite-based technologies for quantifying and monitoring carbon removal.
“Restoring the world’s forests is one of the most meaningful actions we can take right now to address climate change, and it will require innovative solutions to be successful,” said Kara Hurst, vice president of worldwide sustainability at Amazon. “We are proud to launch the Agroforestry and Restoration Accelerator in partnership with The Nature Conservancy to support solutions that prioritize high environmental integrity and strong community benefits. Amazon is looking forward to contributing our passion for innovation along with financial support to improve the livelihoods of local communities in Brazil, while helping to protect the planet for future generations.”
Jennifer Morris, CEO, The Nature Conservancy, said “Over the last 13 years, small farms in Pará—an area where slash-and-burn agriculture can seem like the only option—were responsible for an average of 40% of the state’s deforestation. For 20 years, The Nature Conservancy has worked with small farmers, community leaders, government officials, and Indigenous peoples to identify and implement win-win solutions, like agroforestry, that help people and nature thrive. This new partnership with Amazon will allow us to provide the resources and technical assistance needed to advance this program and demonstrate that regenerative agroforestry and carbon markets are viable business models for communities in the Amazon.”