Establishing economic value for the service of preserving native vegetation and creating a new source of income for rural producers. These are the objectives of Conserv, a private initiative launched in October by the Brazil-based Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) in partnership with the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Woodwell Climate Research Center (WCRI). Conserv is paying rural farmers and ranchers inside the Brazilian Amazon who protect more native vegetation on their properties than is required by law as legal reserves. Under the Brazilian Forestry Code, landowners within the country’s nine Amazonian states must preserve 80% of native vegetation if they are located inside the rainforest, and 35% if in the neighboring Cerrado grasslands. “This is the first initiative to directly pay rural producers for not taking part in legal deforestation,” says Marcelo Stabile, an IPAM researcher and Conserv manager. “It’s an innovative experiment that IPAM is carrying out together with other institutions — a managed compensation model for preventing legal deforestation.” Landowners who participate in the program receive between 200 and 400 reais ($37-$74) per year for each hectare of native vegetation that they preserve. The voluntary initiative came into effect in August in the municipality of Sapezal in western Mato Grosso state and has already benefited seven landowners who together are preserving 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) more than the area they’re required to by law. Conserv’s first phase, which will last 30 months, foresees investments of 24 million reais ($4.5 million) donated by the governments of Norway…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer