Fifty-eight rural producers in the municipality of Rio Claro/RJ will receive this Monday (27) 394,000 reais in payment for environmental services. Remuneration for environmental conservation and recovery services is part of the Water and Forest Producers (PAF) program of the Guandu-RJ Committee, developed in Lídice, district of Rio Claro/RJ, in partnership with the city hall, operation of AGEVAP and execution of Water and Soil. The objective is to increase the forest cover in the basin, which supplies nine million people in the state, contributing to the natural production of water. Due to the pandemic, there will be no payment ceremony.

The PAF has been developed for 12 years by the Guandu-RJ Committee and partner organizations. Currently, the activities are in the municipalities of Rio Claro, Mendes, Engenheiro Paulo de Frontin and Vassouras. The program is one of the first initiatives in the country to use payment for environmental services (PES) as a management tool directly related to the provision of hydrological services. This is the “user-payer and provider-receiver” principle, which rewards and encourages those who provide environmental services, improving the profitability of protection activities and sustainable use of natural resources. In January of this year, the National Policy on Payment for Environmental Services (LAW No. 14.119) was instituted, which defines actions and criteria for implementing the National Policy on PES. Producers receive technical and operational support from the PAF to improve the provision of environmental services and a financial reward, according to the environmental gain obtained on the property. In Rio Claro/RJ alone, around 4,400 hectares of Atlantic Forest were recovered or conserved by the program, in addition to generating income for local producers and raising awareness, making them agents of environmental promotion.

In a week, the Committee paid around 450 thousand reais in PSA, through the program. Last Monday (20) Engenheiro Paulo de Frontin’s producers were awarded. A new resolution by the Collegiate further expands the program that will be taken to other locations in the Guandu-RJ basin.

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