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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


/metric ton of CO₂e

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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).


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.



The project's emissions reductions have been conservatively quantified

  • Baseline

    The reported baseline emissions are less than or equal to Pachama's observed baseline emissions. There are some variations based on project type.

  • Past Project Emissions

    The reported emissions inside the project area are greater than or equal to Pachama's observed emissions.

  • Carbon Inventory

    The project estimated their carbon stocks using a field inventory or remote sensing approach that was statistically representative of the project area, and their carbon stock estimate included a confidence interval and had <15% standard error.



Emissions reductions would not have occurred without the incentive of carbon credits

  • Project Boundary

    The boundary has not been artificially manipulated to increase crediting.

  • Financial and Legal Additionality

    There was no funding for carbon project activities in the 10 years prior to the project start date, and there were no legal requirements for emissions reductions or removals.

  • Improved Forest Management Projects Only

    Forest Maturity

    The crediting period must extend at least 25% beyond the age of economic maturity for at least half of the project area.

  • Reforestation Projects Only

    Forest Cover

    There must be no deforestation within the project area and existing forest cover must be less than 10% in the 10 years prior to project start date.



The project delivers a long-lasting climate impact ensured by continuous monitoring and reporting

  • Recent Project Emissions

    Pachama observed project emissions are less than the leakage-adjusted baseline meaning the project continues to provide a net climate benefit since their last credit issuance.

  • Fire Risk

  • Other Natural Risks

  • Buffer Pool



The project hasn't simply moved deforestation from one place to another, producing no net climate benefit

  • Leakage Summary

    Pachama currently examines and summarizes leakage calculations from registry-verified documents. Accounting for leakage is an inherently complex challenge with a range of methodologies. Pachama is using satellite observations to develop a consistent and easy-to-understand approach to quantifying leakage.


Beyond Carbon

The project causes no net harm and delivers biodiversity and community benefits

  • Free, Prior, Informed Consent

    The project sufficiently demonstrated proper community engagement and consultation, and a grievance and redress mechanism is in place.

  • Certifications

  • Forest Management

  • Reforestation Projects Only

    Ecological Impacts

    For reforestation projects, the forest composition must be a majority native species, there must be at least 5 different species planted, and the species assemblage and density should be similar to what would typically be found in the local ecoregion.


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.
No Poverty image


No Poverty

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

Climate action image


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.

Life on land image


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.

biodiversity image
  • 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.

Glass Frog image
tree 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.

project files
  • Verification report 2019


  • Project description



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