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Systemic Approaches for a Socio-ecological Crisis

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

One could argue that we are living in a "carbon-centric” world, exaggeratedly focused on the control of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, creating approaches that could be considered overly simplistic.

This statement certainly does not implicate that climate change mitigation and adaptation are not extremely important policies, but without an integrated vision, environmental policies or strategies could be deemed ineffective. We need urgently to consider a more systemic and holistic understanding of our contemporary challenges.

All things considered, in 2009, a group of scientists from the Stockholm Resilience Center, seeking to understand the complex contours of our environmental crisis, proposed a conceptual framework that indicated nine planetary boundaries, which include:

  1. Climate change;

  2. Biosphere integrity;

  3. Ocean acidification;

  4. Ozone layer depletion;

  5. Atmospheric aerosol pollution;

  6. Biogeochemical fluxes of nitrogen and phosphorus;

  7. Freshwater use;

  8. Land-system change; and,

  9. Chemical pollution with new substances (including metals, radioactive materials, microplastics and others).

Such boundaries were even used for the development of the concept of the “Doughnut Economy”, proposed by Kate Raworth, a British economist from the University of Oxford, which has become increasingly popular as a benchmark for sustainable development models.

It is important to observe that from planetary limits mentioned above, it is argued that four of them (climate change, biosphere integrity, land-system change and biogeochemical cycles) were already irreversibly exceeded, meaning that we live in full rupture of almost half of the necessary cycles that mantain ecological balance on Earth.

Therefore, considering the complexity of our planetery crisis, ERA has been positioning itself as an “impact-developer”, understanding that the term has a connotation beyond carbon emissions.

Our REDD projects look clearly and firmly at all the environmental and socio-economic co-benefits that can be generated with the new ecological economy that revolves around the conservation of forests and native vegetation. We are passionate about carbon markets and the possibilities that this market mechanism offers for mitigating the effects of climate change.

It's definitely a powerful tool.

But we are going further, our mission is truly to catalyze payments for environmental services (PES) in a broad and innovative way, bringing new ways of measuring impact and directing financial resources to actions with positive socio-environmental impacts. A new agenda is being designed, involving the generation of new “standards” and “currencies” for biodiversity and social impact, channelling these investments to those who need it, whether traditional communities, farmers or conservationist landowners.

With these horizons in mind, we are dialoguing and working together with companies, certifiers and pioneering platforms such as VERRA, Social Carbon, Regen Network and the W+ Standard, seeking to bring new values ​​and innovation to the agendas of climate change, biodiversity and female empowerment.

By enabling PES and directing resources towards ecological conservation and restoration, community empowerment, environmental education and biodiversity protection, we are convinced that an ecological economy is possible!

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