SAO PAULO, May 24, 2021 (Press Release) -Klabin and Embrapa, the Brazilian agricultural research agency, have established an unprecedented partnership to create and validate the guidelines for a silvopastoral system (crop-livestock-forest integration – ILPF) which enables the full use of planted forests to produce pulp and paper while raising livestock at the same time. Silvopastoral systems may be used to mitigate or offset greenhouse gas emissions by cattle. The research being done is expected to create guidelines for rural producers to be able to access the sustainable low carbon beef market, sell all their planted forests to the pulp and paper industry and have an additional source of income.
The low carbon beef protocol currently refers to the integration of agriculture and cattle raising. Another protocol, the carbon neutral beef protocol, refers to systems with trees focused on wooden log/sawmill market. This project will establish the guidelines to validate this system focused on pulp production in order to mitigate the emission of greenhouse gases by cattle through carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration by trees, including roots, which is another special feature of this study. “The storage potential and how long carbon remains stored are still unknown in the case of silvopastoral systems, in which trees are dedicated to pulp and paper production, whose planting models differ from the systems focused on wood production for sawmills, which is the product currently used in the “Carbon Neutral Beef protocol,” says Vanderley Porfírio-da-Silva, a researcher who is coordinating the project by Embrapa Florestas.
The initiative is connected to the “Plant with Klabin” partnership program and will span seven years. During this period, research and data collection will be made in the participating properties, which will become experimental units for the silvopastoral system. “This pioneering initiative in the sector is one more example of Klabin’s efforts to strengthen sustainable development in the regions, with support from a partner that is a reference in agribusiness innovation: Embrapa. We believe that in the first two years we will have gathered important data for the project, which is one more source of income for rural producers and an advancement of sustainable practices,” explains José Totti, Forestry Director at Klabin.
For Embrapa, this project is part of a series of initiatives that seek production alternatives to “decarbonize” Brazilian agribusiness through more sustainable production systems that also bring additional income for producers, similar to ongoing projects, such as “Carbon Neutral Beef,” “Low Carbon Soybean,” “Low Carbon Milk” and, now, the start of this project combining pulp production and “low carbon beef.”
Potential benefits from the project include the incentive for income generation in rural properties, increase in quality and profitability and the diversification of properties. “The project intends to generate information to help formulate public policies, such as the ABC+ plan recently launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) to “decarbonize” Brazilian production, which may promote the benefits of the silvopastoral system and, consequently, encourage more producers to adopt this practice,” said Porfírio-da-Silva.
Moreover, the Plant with Klabin program guarantees the acquisition of planted forests for a minimum price, which gives producers a clearer and reliable estimate about future results. “The goal of this program is to build long-term, stable relations with our forestry partners, democratize the wealth generated by planting forests, provide alternative income streams and encourage the adoption of practices that meet the environmental, social and financial requirements,” explains Carlos Bernardi, Forestry Commercial Manager at Klabin.
In the future, the study findings may provide conditions for “low carbon beef” certification, which will enable rural producers to access the product’s sustainable market since it attests that animals that originated the products had their methane emissions offset through trees growing in an integrated manner with the system and that animal welfare was ensured through the provision of shade but without harming the environment.