The Gran Chaco is South America’s second-largest native forest area and functions as one of world’s major carbon sinks. It is distributed largely between Paraguay and Argentina, whilst approx. 15% is made up between Bolivia and Brazil.
The tropical forest of the Chaco is one of the richest in terms of biodiversity, and is home to endemic and endangered animals species and indigenous communities who heavily rely on the forest for their existence.
The Gran Chaco is no stranger to permanent forest destruction, and with one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, the Chaco forest is at immediate risk of collapsing.
Legal and irrevocable deforestation is happening at an incredible speed, with native Chaco forest being converted into cattle ranching and cropland. One bulldozer alone is able to deforest 1 ha. in a matter of two hours, resulting in the disappearance of 120 ha per day in each new cattle development. The threat is urgent as deforestation projects work 24/7, in groups of up to 10 bulldozers at the time.
Global GHG emissions are on the rise as a direct consequence of the deforestation of native forests. In fact, a quarter of all emissions worldwide are caused by deforestation, forest degradation and land use changes, incl. agriculture. Large-scale deforestation results in increased emissions and major loss of biodiversity.
Quadriz is the project developer and proponent of Paraguay’s largest REDD+ project named Corazón Verde del Chaco Project, due to its location in the “Green Heart” of the Paraguayan Chaco.
This high-impact carbon project initially conserves 32,000 hectares (79,000 acres) of critical Chaco forest and is designed under two leading carbon standards known as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) with Gold Distinction. Furthermore, the Project simultaneously preserves endangered species and a wide range of ecosystem services, provides an economic alternative to local communities, and mitigates the release of an estimated 5.6 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions over the first 10 years of the Project.
The Corazón Verde del Chaco carbon project is situated in Puerto Casado, Department of Presidente Hayes. The project is highly scalable and Quadriz has already identified and earmarked large adjacent areas of native forest under immediate threat of deforestation, which could be included under its REDD+ program.
In June 2023 the Project obtained its first VCS+CCB verification and subsequently issued its first VCUs of 2020 and 2021 vintages.
Investing in REDD+ carbon projects that are able to scale is essential, and a USAID report on REDD+ outlines how the scalability of REDD+ in Latin America has proven to be a key element to large-scale conservation of forests and therefore reducing emissions.
First VCU (Verified Carbon Unit) vintages 2020 and 2021 were issued in June 2023.
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The Gran Chaco is a diverse biome of humid and semi-arid ecosystems, made up of riverine forests, wetlands, and savannas. The Chaco forest is home to 3,400 plant species, 500 bird species, 150 mammal species and 220 reptile and amphibian species, and Quadriz extensive biodiversity monitoring has already identified several vulnerable and endangered species living in the Project area, as listed on the IUCN red list, by not limited to:
Apart from the protection and conservation of important primary forests and wildlife corridors, such as the Jaguar corridor, Quadriz’ projects come with a wealth of additional co-benefits, and its REDD+ ‘Corazón Verde del Chaco’ carbon project has been validated for its contribution to 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.