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Promoting Sustainable Agriculture, Boosting Productivity, and Enhancing Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Through the RIO RURAL Program, Brazil

  • Vanesa Rodríguez OsunaEmail author
  • Peter H. May
  • Joyce M. G. Monteiro
  • Roland Wollenweber
  • Helga Hissa
  • Marcelo Costa
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)

Abstract

The Brazilian agricultural sector is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, but climate-smart practices combined with degraded land restoration can result in a more resilient landscape contributing to integrated climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Sustainable Rural Development Program of Rio de Janeiro (RIO RURAL) has been supporting the transition of degraded rural areas to sustainable productive systems by providing technical assistance and incentives to small-scale family farmers. RIO RURAL promotes reforestation and sustainable agriculture practices, which can boost productivity as well as carbon stocks in the agricultural landscape. Using estimates of carbon mitigation potential for such practices, we identified methodologies eligible for certification in the voluntary markets. We estimated transaction, implementation, and certification costs and calculated potential revenues associated with RIO RURAL’s activities. This did not only allow us to discuss the constraints and identify opportunities and co-benefits from RIO RURAL’s contribution to climate mitigation, adaptation, and environmental integrity but also to food security as it targets family farms. We propose a bundling approach to carbon, where multiple benefits are measured and certified including water, food systems, as well as social and cultural benefits. This would allow accessing resources from both mitigation and adaptation programs in addition to markets that value ecosystem integrity as well as water and food security.

Keywords

Family farming Cost-effectiveness Sustainable agriculture Low-emission agriculture Rio de Janeiro Co-benefits 

Resumo (Português) Promovendo a Agricultura Sustentável Visando o Aumento da Produtividade e a Mitigação e Adaptação Climática por Meio do Programa RIO RURAL, Brasil

O setor agrícola brasileiro é uma fonte importante de emissões de gases de efeito estufa. No entanto, a agricultura de baixa emissão de carbono com a restauração de áreas degradadas podem aumentar a resiliência da paisagem , contribuindo para os esforços integrados de mitigação e adaptação às mudanças climáticas. O Programa de Desenvolvimento Rural Sustentável do Rio de Janeiro (RIO RURAL) vem apoiando a transição de áreas rurais degradadas para sistemas produtivos sustentáveis, fornecendo assistência técnica e incentivos aos pequenos agricultores familiares. O RIO RURAL promove práticas de reflorestamento e agricultura sustentável que podem aumentar a produtividade, bem como os estoques de carbono na paisagem agrícola. Usando estimativas de potencial de redução de emissões de gases de efeito estufa pela implantação de tais práticas, identificamos metodologias certificáveis nos mercados voluntários de carbono. Estimamos os custos de certificação, implementação e manutenção e calculamos as receitas potenciais anuais associadas às atividades promovidas pelo RIO RURAL. Isso permitiu discutir as restrições, identificar as oportunidades e os co-benefícios da contribuição de RIO RURAL para a mitigação do clima, adaptação e integridade ambiental, mas também para a segurança alimentar, uma vez que o alvo são as propriedades familiares. Propomos uma abordagem agregada ao carbono, na qual os múltiplos benefícios gerados são quantificados e certificados como base para o acesso aos recursos de programas de mitigação e adaptação, além de mercados que valorizam os recursos hídricos, a segurança alimentar e os benefícios culturais.

Palavras-Chave

Agricultura familiar Agricultura sustentável Agricultura de baixa emissão Rio de Janeiro Co-benefícios 

Resumen (Español) Mejorando la Producción y el Potencial de Mitigación y Adaptación Climática Mediante la Promoción de la Agricultura Sostenible (Programa RIO RURAL, Brasil)

El sector agrícola brasileño es una fuente importante de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero. Sin embargo, la combinación de agricultura baja en emisiones y la restauración de áreas degradadas puede conllevar a un paisaje resiliente, contribuyendo a los esfuerzos brasileros de mitigación y adaptación al cambio climático. El Programa de Desarrollo Rural Sustentable de Río de Janeiro (RIO RURAL) viene apoyando la transición de áreas rurales degradadas a sistemas productivos sostenibles, mediante la asistencia técnica e incentivos económicos para pequeños agricultores familiares. RIO RURAL promueve prácticas que pueden mejorar la productividad, así como las reservas de carbono en los sistemas agrícolas. Identificamos metodologías certificables en el mercado voluntario de carbono, usando estimaciones del potencial de reducción de emisiones. Estimamos los costos de certificación, implementación y mantenimiento y calculamos los ingresos potenciales asociados a la promoción de actividades agrícolas y de conservación forestal. Estas estimaciones nos permitieron analizar las barreras e identificar oportunidades y beneficios generados por RIO RURAL en términos de mitigación y adaptación climática. El programa también promueve la integridad ambiental y la seguridad alimientaria, al apoyar fincas familiares. Proponemos la evaluación de la contribución de este programa en término de soluciones climáticas y a la vez co-beneficios que sean cuantificables y certificables, los cuales permitan acceder a financiamiento climático, además de mercados que promueven la conservación de recursos hídricos, la seguridad alimentaria y otros beneficios culturales.

Palabras Clave

Agricultura familiar Costo-efectividad Agricultura sostenible Agricultura de baja emisión Rio de Janeiro Co-beneficios 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Denitsa Gaydarova-Itrib from TÜV Rheinland who kindly provided estimates of costs associated to certification and helped identify voluntary market methodologies associated to RIO RURAL’s promoted practices. We appreciate the support from Carlos Marconi and all technical officers from the Rural Extension and Technical Assistance Agency (EMATER) of the Italva municipality and Marcos André Dias from RIO RURAL, who provided helpful insights to understand this program’s operational scope. We also thank Zachary Tessler and Andrea Rodríguez Osuna for their support with proofreading abstracts of this chapter and Nathália Duarte for her contribution with the RIO RURAL area map.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanesa Rodríguez Osuna
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter H. May
    • 2
    • 3
  • Joyce M. G. Monteiro
    • 4
  • Roland Wollenweber
    • 5
  • Helga Hissa
    • 6
  • Marcelo Costa
    • 6
  1. 1.CUNY Advanced Science Research CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.CPDA/UFRRJSeropédicaBrazil
  3. 3.Earth InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research -Embrapa SolosRio de JaneiroBrazil
  5. 5.Business Development and Innovation, TÜV RheinlandCologneGermany
  6. 6.The Sustainable Rural Development Program in Micro-Watersheds of the State of Rio de Janeiro – Rio Rural, HortoFonsecaBrazil

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