By: Ecosystem Marketplace

Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura Cosméticos has purchased 120,000 tons of carbon offsets from the Paiter-Suruí, an indigenous people of the Amazon who in June became the first indigenous people to generate credits by saving endangered rainforest using the Verified Carbon Standard’s (VCS) for “REDD” (Reduced greenhouse gas Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). The transaction is also the first of its kind, and is being watched by indigenous people across the Amazon as well as by companies looking to meet their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirements.

“REDD+ is a bridge between the indigenous world and the non-indigenous world, so it’s an appropriate way to begin this process” says Chief Almir Narayamoga Surui, who spearheaded the effort. “It creates a vehicle through which the capitalist system can recognize the value of standing forests, and indigenous people can be rewarded for preserving them.”

Natura is Latin America’s largest cosmetics maker and has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by one-third from 2006 levels by the end of 2013. A cornerstone of this effort is the Natura Carbon Neutral initiative, a public commitment to offset those emissions that cannot be reduced internally by investing in emission-reduction projects from other institutions whose values and beliefs are aligned with their own.

“Since we made a commitment to be a carbon neutral company in 2007, Natura offsets 100% of its emissions,” says Denise Alves, Director of Sustainability.

The Suruí will use the proceeds to jumpstart their 50-year “Life Plan”, which is designed to create a sustainable economy that blends traditional land-use practices, ecotourism, and the harvesting of non-timber forest products with modern scientific methods and procedures.

Read More