Acre works to become low-carbon economy like California

As a part of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, California and Acre have been working together to reach goals in reducing carbon emissions.

Acre is one of the most advanced REDD states in the world. The state is 88 percent forested area, greater than the state’s percentage of forested area at 61 percent. Because of its vast area covered by forests, Acre has partnered with California to reduce emissions by cutting deforestation and restoring degraded forests.

By 2020, Acre wants to reduce deforestation by 82 percent through its jurisdictional REDD+ program while California wants to reduce its carbon emissions to its 1990 levels that same year. But from 2011 to 2012, there was a 13 percent increase in deforestation in Acre.

What causes deforestation in Acre

The majority of deforestation in Acre occurs along primary and secondary roads and rivers. The main source of deforestation in Acre is cattle ranching, which occupied 70 percent of the total deforested area in 1989 and increased to 81 percent in 2004.

Cattle ranching has become very profitable throughout the Amazon while factors such as land speculation, lack of zoning and formal designation of public lands, and subsidized loans for ranching have played a role in deforestation in Acre. Historically, many responsible for deforestation were owners of mid-size and large farms and ranches, but in recent years, smallholder farmers have contributed significantly to deforestation in Acre.

How Acre is reaching carbon emissions reduction goals

In 2010, Acre enacted Law 2.308/2010 to create a State System of Incentives for Environmental Services (SISA), with REDD as the centerpiece. It provides an innovative, jurisdiction-wide approach to low-carbon rural development. The SISA establishes a set of principles, policies, institutions, and instruments for building an effective program for achieving environmental sustainability through ecosystem services incentives. It is designed to promote public-private initiatives to achieve the state’s goals with respect to ecosystem services.

Currently, Acre is working with the states of California and Chiapas in Mexico to define the elements of a jurisdiction-wide approach for REDD that is capable of generating compliance-grade emissions reductions.

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