Protecting the People and the Forest: Bolsa Verde, Brazil
Bolsa Verde – or the Green Grant – is one of the few government social protection schemes that simultaneously improved the lives of many thousands of rural people living in poverty and reduced deforestation. The programme encouraged the preservation and sustainable use of forest resources by providing extremely low-income Brazilians living in the Amazon Forest with cash payments and livelihoods training. The Amazon is a vital global, national and local resource and the value of the carbon reduction benefits alone was estimated to be about three times the cost of the programme. The case study highlights the intrinsic links between poverty and the environment and the importance of supporting local populations to be forest guardians.