Forest Defenders in Acre Meet with their GCF Counterparts in California

Governor Viana of Acre, Brazil and a high-level delegation of governmental and indigenous leaders from his state visited California in October 2016. The purpose of this visit was threefold: to foster collaboration with other early-mover GCF leaders (Governor Brown of California), to show support for California’s cap-and-trade program, and to seed new partnerships with forest product investors and the academic community in California. In meetings with civil society, private sector, and governmental leaders, including the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, the Acre delegation highlighted how their sustainable forest economy provided a model for harmonizing rural development with reduced deforestation. This visit provided many opportunities for increasing the dialogue on how environmental sustainability and social inclusion could best come together in practical ways. A representative of the Kaxinawa tribe of Acre spoke with Governor Brown about the role of indigenous communities in reducing deforestation on tribal lands. Members of California’s environmental justice community interacted with Acre’s state-level bureaucrats on questions of social inclusion, climate justice, and sustainable production. The visit, hosted by the Earth Innovation Institute with support from the GCF Secretariat, the Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy and Forest Trends, was a model for cross-jurisdictional education and exchange across GCF membership from the global north and south.