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1,974 ha

Fazenda São Nicolau

Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation

Regenerating deforested cattle ranching land in the heart of the Amazon


Fazenda São Nicolau



1,974 ha

Developer: ONF International

Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation

Fazenda São Nicolau is located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Much of the project area was heavily deforested in the late 1980s and 90s for both cattle ranching and coffee production. As the first Brazilian forestry project to be certified by Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Fazenda São Nicolau has pledged extensive afforestation, reforestation, and revegetation to increase the forest’s carbon stock, recover invaluable biodiversity, and engage local communities. The project is located on former cattle grazing areas and aims to restore forest cover as part of a wider program implemented on 10,000 ha of private land (including the Fazenda).

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Registry ID: 665



Pachama's project evaluation criteriaPachama rigorously evaluates every project listed on our marketplace to ensure that we're surfacing only the highest quality projects. Our Evaluation Criteria includes a series of checks that every project must pass as well as a number of informative insights on project quality. You can see a preview of these checks below.



Does the project have a net additional climate benefit?

  • Net additional climate benefit

    Emissions reductions are calculated based on the difference between baseline, project, and leakage emissions. Pachama analyzes emissions claims to confirm that the project has a net additional climate benefit, and each credit represents at least one metric ton of carbon.



Is the climate benefit based on sound and conservative claims?

  • Baseline claims

    Pachama analyzes baseline emissions accounting to confirm that the reported baseline emissions are less than what Pachama observes with remote sensing.

  • Project claims

    Pachama assesses the project boundary, project emissions accounting, carbon inventory, and financial and legal additionality.

  • Leakage claims

    Pachama summarizes the project's reported leakage emissions accounting.



Is the climate benefit long-lasting?

  • Ongoing monitoring

    Pachama quantifies emissions since the last verification to ensure the project continues to deliver a climate benefit.

  • Project risks

    Pachama characterizes fire and other natural risks and summarizes buffer pool contributions.


Beyond Carbon

Does the project deliver benefits beyond carbon?

  • Social impacts

    If a project occurs on community-owned land, Pachama confirms the community is fully informed of the project activity and impact, consent is given without coercion, and a grievance and redress mechanism is in place.

  • Ecological impacts

    For ARR projects, Pachama analyzes native species planting, species diversity, regional suitability, and reforestation practices.

  • Certifications

    Pachama provides a summary of the project's awarded certifications.


Project story
Giving back to the land and surrounding communities

In the early 1980s, the Fazenda was held by a stockbreeder who created pastures and exploited a part of the forest for coffee production. In 1999, the ONF (a French public entity managing forests in France and French Guyana) acquired the land to start this project.\n \nA local nursery, managed by ONF Brasil and the local population, was installed inside the Fazenda, from which seedlings are used for reforestation activities with a set allotment given to surrounding local communities through a seed donation program. The project also sources from another local nursery and has planted 30 local tree species.

Fazenda São Nicolau is particularly noted for its value as a scientific resource. The project hosts one of the world’s few carbon flux towers, an instrument used to measure CO2 gas exchange.


Trees planted throughout the project since 1999


Tons of CO2 sequestered throughout project’s lifetime

Small seedlings being cultivated at the project.

Small seedlings being cultivated at the project.

Impacts beyond carbon

A focus on environmental education and forest management research

This project works hard to support the communities who inhabit and help restore this landscape in addition to ongoing scientific research for forest management and restoration. Fazenda São Nicolau's important community benefits link to 3 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
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No Poverty

Indirect employment for ten families through the collection of Brazil nuts (Bertholettia excelsa) as well as opportunities in sustainable forest management.

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Climate action

Implementation of a seed donation program for local landowners employed by the Fazenda and other families in the area (50+ families). Additionally, toolkits are provided for plantation procedures and tree maintenance, which are improved each year with the increased knowledge acquired at the Fazenda.

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Life on land

Environmental education programs including field training courses and social programs for young children in collaboration with elementary schools in neighboring municipalities (~400 children per year). In collaboration with state and federal universities, the Fazenda also regularly hosts students and researchers from all over the country who study the Amazon forest and have developed research activities in the project area.

Restoring invaluable biodiversity in the heart of the Amazon

Located in a tropical moist forest, Fazenda São Nicolau is an area of important biodiversity with many animals including four particularly endangered species of monkeys: Alouatta discolor, Ateles chamek, Ateles marginatus, and Lagothrix cana. The main threat to these animals and others is linked to growing grazing activities around Cotriguaçu.

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  • 392

    Bird species

  • 41

    Mammal species

  • 55

    Amphibians & Reptiles

Brazil Nut image
tree spotlight
Brazil Nut

Towering over 100 feet tall, the Brazil Nut is one of the largest and longest lived trees in the Amazon. Due to extensive deforestation in its native habitat, it is classified as a vulnerable species.

how this project helps

Fazenda São Nicolau has implemented a program that employs local families to collect Brazil Nut seeds in the natural forest of the fazenda.

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animal spotlight
Glass Frog

Fazenda São Nicolau has a vast diversity of amphibians, including the glass frog family. This unique species has a translucent belly and chest, which serves as a type of camouflage. While glass frogs can be found across the tropics, a certain species known as Hyalinobatrachium Cappellei was first recorded at Fazenda.

how this project helps

The large population of frogs shows how much progress this project has made. Amphibians are considered a good bio-indicator because they disappear quickly in degrading landscapes but appear promptly with signs of environmental improvement.

Public registry documentsApplicable calculation methods are referenced in the reports below. Note that registries do not publicly provide all pertinent data required to reproduce emissions calculations. However, Independent Validation and Verification Bodies have access to the data needed to reproduce and verify emissions calculations.
  • Project description


  • Verification report 2019


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