The Russas-Valparaiso Projects: Tropical Forest Conservation Projects


Near city of Cruzeiro do Sul in the State of Acre, Brazil


Forest Conservation


70,072 hectares (173,152 acres)


Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) with Gold Distinction and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)


Environmental Services, Inc. and Rainforest Alliance.


  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions
  • Mitigate climate change
  • Conserve habitat for endangered and threatened species
  • Improve local water quality
  • Retain top soil and control erosion


  • Establish alternative sources of income and employment opportunities
  • Provide agricultural extension training
  • Grant official land tenure
  • Social projects and programs such as building a health clinic, renovating the local school, building toilets, distributing mosquito nets, and supporting an association for açaí and manioc flour

The Russas-Valparaiso Projects are payments for ecosystem services forest conservation projects, otherwise known as a Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) projects, protecting slightly more than 70,000 hectares (173,152 acres) of tropical rainforest.

The Russas-Valparaiso Projects shall mitigate the release of approximately 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, while also preserving the habitat for an extraordinary amount of biodiversity and directly benefitting local communities.

The ultimate project activities are to undertake a forest carbon inventory, model regional deforestation and land-use patterns, and mitigate deforestation pressures by utilizing payments for the Projects’ ecosystem services, along with ongoing monitoring of the climate, community and biodiversity impacts of the Projects. Social projects and activities to mitigate deforestation pressures range from providing agricultural extension training courses to local communities, to beginning patrols of potential deforestation sites in the early stages of the Project, to eventually establishing an association to assist with the local production of açaí and manioc flour.

The Russas-Valparaiso Projects achieved Gold Level Distinction to the CCBS due to the Projects’ exceptional community benefits.