The program will contribute to the protection of iconic natural biomes, the provision of environmental services essential to life and business, and the fight against climate change.
The Regenera América Program
Launched today by Mercado Libre with the objective of supporting regeneration and conservation projects in the main biomes of Latin America, from the Brazilian Amazon to the rainforests of Mexico, a region which is home to a quarter of the planet's biodiversity. In partnership with The Nature Conservancy, the Institute for Ecological Research, and Pachama.
An initial investment of US$8 million
The company will support two initiatives in the Atlantic Forest this year, in partnership with the global environmental organization The Nature Conservancy, and with the Institute for Ecological Research. The projects focus on planting trees, regenerating biological corridors and protecting important watersheds.
Access our website to learn more about Regenera América.
“We are investing an amount proportional to the company's 2020 carbon footprint.”
Direct support for conservation and regeneration projects
“We are investing an amount proportional to the company's carbon footprint for the year 2020, to directly support conservation and regeneration projects, which are scientifically effective in combating climate change and will generate new carbon credits. We want to contribute to the development of this market, in addition to helping to preserve vital ecosystem services for people and companies, such as the water which supplies millions in the region in which we operate,” says Pedro Arnt, CFO of Mercado Libre.
More than 3,000 hectares
This area will be restored from the two initiatives carried out this year. The Conservador da Mantiqueira project, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, and Corridors for Life, together with the Institute for Ecological Research (IPÊ), will contribute to protecting the region's biodiversity, maintaining the ecosystem services generated from its conservation, such as potable water, fresh air, a balanced climate, healthy soils, food and raw materials, as well as carbon capture and storage from the atmosphere.
Our environmental impact and responsibility
“We are aware of the increase in our environmental impact and the responsibility to create actions to mitigate it. This is why we are taking concrete steps in designing our strategy to have the least impact in the shortest possible time. We are already working on all fronts of climate action, measuring and reporting our emissions, developing electric mobility projects, renewable energies, materials management, issuing a $400 million green bond and now investing in nature-based solutions,” adds Pedro.
"Restoration and regeneration of forests can contribute efficiently to mitigate the effects of climate change."
Working together with communities in the region
Project Conservador da Mantiqueira
The project will promote the restoration of 2,700 hectares spread over small and medium-sized properties in the Serra da Mantiqueira region. The idea is to achieve scale through the restoration of forest areas in areas with great potential for natural regeneration.
“Science has shown that forest restoration and regeneration can contribute effectively to mitigate the effects of climate change. We are pleased to contribute strategically to Mercado Libre in the Regenera America Program. Through this initiative, the implementation of nature-based solutions is accelerated to protect biodiversity in iconic biomes and to develop a more prosperous future for people and businesses in Latin America,” says Santiago Gowland, Executive Vice President of Global Innovation and Managing Director for Latin America at The Nature Conservancy.
Corridors For Life
The project will create forest corridors between remaining areas of native forest, through the planting of trees in degraded areas, restoring 300 hectares and allowing animal species, some of which are endangered, to move between these areas. One of the central points of the project is to involve the farming communities, so they can also participate and benefit from this restoration. To this end, agroforestry systems and tree plantation with marketable seeds will be used. The intention is to plant 1 million trees across 300 hectares.
With the two initiatives combined, it is estimated that up to 750 thousand tons of CO2 could be removed by the year 2045.
"The innovation is that local owners will receive part of the carbon credits generated."
Monitoring and transparency
In addition to the partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Ecological Research Institute, Mercado Libre will count on the support of Pachama to carry out the monitoring of projects. Pachama is a startup which uses satellite data and artificial intelligence in the protection and management of ecosystems.
A positive economic and social cycle
“The Regenera America Program is a joint effort by Mercado Libre, local communities and important environmental actors to accelerate solutions which combat climate change and its effects on people and the environment. The innovation is that local owners will receive part of the generated carbon credits, which can be sold and the money reinvested in their ventures, to create a positive economic and social cycle,” says Guadalupe Marín, Regional Manager of Sustainability for Mercado Libre. “We have to advance in our journey to sustainability and also in our drive to democratize trade and money, contributing to their professionalization and development,” she adds.
As áreas florestais degradadas podem recuperar sua capacidade de estocar carbono se restauradas.
The biome where most of our operation is located
It is home to more than 15,700 species of plants, 8,000 of which are endemic, which can only be found in this biome, and more than 2,200 vertebrates, totaling more than 5% of all vertebrate species on the planet. This biodiversity is becoming increasingly threatened.
The Atlantic Forest covers 15% of the Brazilian territory, and today only about 12% of the original area remains.
According to a study by Brazilian researchers recently published in the journal Nature Communications, human activity has already caused loss of biodiversity and biomass in more than 80% of the remaining patches of the Atlantic Forest. In terms of carbon stock, the loss is equivalent to the deforestation of up to 70 thousand square kilometers of forest. The study shows, however, that degraded forest areas can recover their carbon storage capacity if they are restored.