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Florestal Santa Maria’s Answer to the World Rainforest Movement’s Baseless Article of June, 2018

By 5 de July de 2018December 10th, 2021No Comments

The World Rainforest Movement (WRM) published this past June, 2018, an article entitled “The farce of the ‘Florestal Santa Maria’ REDD project in Mato Grosso, Brazil.” Florestal Santa Maria does not know WRM or its representatives, and has never been in contact with the WRM. The regrettable article was published without hearing Florestal Santa Maria about any of the false events and circumstances raised by WRM.

According to WRM’s own description of its purpose, “The WRM supports efforts that defend forests and forest-dependent communities from (…) other forest preservation-type projects that threaten them, like REDD+ and other offset projects that are part of the increasing trend of commodifying nature.” Thus, irrespective of the undisputed contribution of Florestal Santa Maria to conservation of the Amazon Forest, WRM has no other intention than to cause harm in the name of its ideological bias. With such goal as part of its institutional mission, it seems very unlikely that, regardless of any factual analysis of the project, Florestal Santa Maria or any other REDD Project would look agreeable to WRM, as WRM is in itself against the use of economic incentives’ approach and mechanisms for environmental conservation.

A mere reading of such article shows its many internal contradictions, as well as a clear “means to an end” use of facts, guesswork and even borderline defamatory claims, which would in themselves suffice to prove the sheer lack of credibility involved. Nonetheless, Florestal Santa Maria expected, at the very least, that the mechanism concept would be grasped by the entity. Instead, WRM brings forth requirements and matters that serve only the purposes of its intended claim, alleging that the area in which the FSM-REDD Project was set up should be in a “credible danger” of invasion for the establishment of other land use activities to have the Project considered as bringing an actual emission reduction.

As it would be expected to be of WRM’s knowledge, however, the deforestation concept used as a REDD project’s baseline is the land use conversion emission of carbon, in an expected, business-as-usual way. The deforestation scenarios were devised based on a methodology created by a third party, with no relation to Florestal Santa Maria, and audited by independent entities. Given the land use reality in the State of Mato Grosso, which even WRM itself concludes to have indicated a new increase in deforestation, this would be, to say the least, a very probable and foreseeable alternative land use for the area.

The claims that the only benefits found are related to its own workers and to the area wherein the project is implemented, and that “the company would not have invested resources to meet the FSC seal requirements without the prospect of carbon credit sales”, again entirely miss the purpose of the establishment of REDD, which through positive incentives seeks to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. The whole idea of the mechanism is that REDD-related funding seeks to reward good forest management and to make poor forest management less profitable than the sustainable alternative.

The statements that the history of land occupation in the Amazon region as a whole would signify that alleged illegalities occurred in FSM’s specific land-owning history have no grounds. FSM is a private, family-owned entity that acquired the land in 2003 after a complete due diligence. The land has been further subject to public and private scrutiny, including FUNAI. Florestal Santa Maria will not seek to rebut every single false statement by WRM, it sufficing to say that the documents of its Project speak for themselves: no land title history controversies exist as to it, no indigenous or other specially protected communities were ever prejudiced by it, land possession is undisputed, and every single step required for its certification was followed and verified by independent third-party and internationally reputable companies in their fields.

FSM has a history of combating land invasion, illegal logging and avoiding emissions of greenhouse gases. None of the utterly generic, baseless, and contradictory implications that WRM seeks to establish have standing on the Project’s merit, history or generated credits, and they in themselves show such conclusion, constituting mere fables to meet an institutional standpoint against REDD and similar preservation mechanisms.