Restoring the Cantareira Water Supply System: Carbon Community and Biodiversity Initiative Project

Project Type: 

Afforestation, Reforestation and Revegetation (ARR)


185.56 hectares


Minas Gerais State and São Paulo States, Brazil


Rainforest Alliance Evaluation: 

Validated conformance with the Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance Standards Second Edition, December 2008: July 9, 2012 (RA-VAL-CCB- 016338).

Project activities will be implemented in the Cantareira Water Supply System, which supplies drinking water to nine million people in the city of São Paulo, its metropolitan area and the greater industrial region. The first project area, CPA # 1, is in the city of Piracaia, in the Brazilian state of São Paulo—specifically in the reservoir waterfall private area, where 599 acres (242.5 hectares) of native vegetation will be restored. Of that total, 459 acres (185.56 hectares) are considered eligible for generating carbon credits. Although the current project area is small, the Cantareira Water Supply System extends across five watersheds, and the social and environmental benefits resulting from project activities will eventually spread to the entire 563,400-acre (228,000-hectare) area.

The main objective is to restore the environmental integrity of the region that borders the Cantareira System. More specifically, the project seeks to: increase carbon stocks by planting trees and fostering natural regeneration; promote the conservation of biodiversity through the restoration and maintenance of the native ecosystem and the planting of native species; improve water quality in the Cantareira System through the recovery and protection of springs and riparian vegetation; and improve soil management practices.

Project activities will also result in benefits to the community in the form of payments for environmental services; improvements in water quality and soil; job creation relating to the reforestation activities; technology transfers; and the dissemination of information on climate change and the value of standing forests.

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