Degraded Grasslands Afforestation, Uruguay

Type: Nature-based Solutions | Afforestation and Reforestation
Region: South America
Standard: VCS, CCB

The main objectives of this project are sustainable wood production, land restoration, and carbon sequestration through afforestation. Using carbon finance, this project has established a better form of land use, combining sustainable forestry with cattle grazing. Trees are planted on the higher and more degraded land, reducing further topsoil degradation, while cattle graze the lower, unwooded areas. 

As a forestry project, the nearly 20,000 hectares of trees will be harvested on a 22-year rotation, so timber products will be produced to provide local work, divert demand for illegal/unsustainable logging and store carbon sequestered from the atmosphere. The project is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), balancing timber production and sales with habitat creation. 

Since these were previously grasslands, there were no tree species native to the ecosystem where this forest plantation now produces timber and enhances biodiversity conservation within the woodland itself and the surrounding perimeter. In addition, the project team hosts education sessions for local schools about the wildlife that are now able to live and thrive in the project area to inspire the next generation.

This area of Uruguay has been grazed by cattle for over 300 years which had led to soil erosion and degradation of grasslands.

In addition to delivering over 7 million tonnes of emissions removals over the project’s lifetime to take climate action (SDG 13), the project delivers additional benefits. The SDG contributions have been indicatively measured:

  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: Bringing new income and job opportunities to local communities in rural areas of Uruguay, while respecting existing cattle farmers’ land use.
  • Life on Land: This project promotes sustainable forest management and contributes to increasing afforestation rates globally. The newly grown tree canopy also provides habitat for birds, mammals, and amphibians on land that was previously degraded grasslands.

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