Bunge Limitedannounced it is participating in a project that will avoid approximately 30 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and generate carbon credits through the preservation of 70,000 hectares of native forest in the Amazon biome. The project, developed through a partnership between Bunge Environmental Markets and Florestal Santa Maria, is one of the first to generate tradable carbon credits on private land under the principle of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

"This unique project is a clear demonstration that sustainable forest management and payment for environmental services (PSA) can be an economically attractive, long-term option for private landowners," said Alfred Evans, Manager, Bunge Environmental Markets and CEO, Climate Change Capital. "We are pleased that it will commence shortly after the RIO+20 summit, which is bringing needed focus to the development of environmental markets."

The 30-year project will begin in the second half of 2012, and is expected to avoid approximately 1 million metric tons of CO2 per year. It is located in the municipal district of Colniza in northeastern Mato Grosso state.

In addition to contributing technical expertise and ensuring quality and alignment with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Bunge Environmental Markets has committed to acquiring carbon credits generated in the first years of project operation.

"Reducing deforestation and improving the sustainability of agriculture are important pillars of Bunge's sustainability efforts in Brazil," said Adalgiso Telles, Director, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability, Bunge Brazil. "REDD projects can be an income source for Brazilian farmers, a driver of the green economy and an important tool in shaping smart land use planning."

Bunge Brazil has an energy matrix comprised of more than 90% renewable sources, and it estimates that its projects related to bioenergy production will generate electricity to meet the needs of four million urban dwellers by 2016. In 2011, Bunge Brazil issued carbon credits representing a surplus of 20% over the company's emissions in the country during the year.