A New Approach to Conservation: Biocultural Jaguar Credits

April 03, 2024 | By The Pachamama Alliance
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Sharamentsa Achuar Community members and Belén Paez, President of Fundación Pachamama.
Photo by Fundación Pachamama

On March 12, 2024, Fundación Pachamama—Pachamama Alliance’s sister organization—the Sharamentsa Achuar community, and Regen Network launched a program called Biocultural Jaguar Credits as a new effort to protect ancestral lands, traditional ways of life, and critical jaguar habitat in the Sharamentsa community in the province of Pastaza in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest.

This program uses an innovative crediting approach to conservation that combines territorial and biodiversity monitoring processes and blockchain technology with the goal to support the protection of 10,000 hectares of critical jaguar habitat in the Ecuadorian Amazon, contributing to the preservation of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region.

Through Regen Network’s Marketplace, digital Biocultural Ancestral Stewardship credits can be purchased or retired to meet the climate commitments of businesses and organizations. These nature-based solutions remove carbon, restore biodiversity, reverse climate change, and alleviates pressure on forests and their ecosystems by offering sustainable alternatives that address various socio-economic challenges such as food security, cultural preservation, and economic stability within communities.

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A New Transparent Ecologic-economic Model

As Indigenous forest communities face the challenges of encroaching roads and modernization while preserving ancestral lands and cultural heritage, they also grapple with cash offers for extractive activities that threaten the delicate forest ecosystem and cause community conflicts. The Jaguar Credits program aims to create a transparent ecologic-economic model that is a financial alternative to extractive activities and to improve the livelihoods of communities that safeguard the Earth’s biosphere and enhances human wellbeing.

Jaguars, who are classified as endangered, serve as umbrella species whose conservation benefits the entire ecosystem in which they reside. By focusing conservation efforts on umbrella species, conservationists can indirectly protect the habitats and biodiversity of numerous other species within the same ecosystem.

The Jaguar Credits program includes local monitoring of land changes, satellite monitoring to help identify changes in land-use, smartphone deployment to community members to capture data of land-use changes, and other processes designed to track and verify forest health. The jaguar population will be monitored by cameras placed throughout the local habitat.

Jaguar Credits are pre-sold at $0.88/credit, with a projected issuance of 75,300 credits total for the 2024 project activities. 

Purchasing Jaguar Credits provides:

  • One year of stewardship following the conservation commitments outlined in the crediting agreement and the community governance norms 
  • Purchase of biodiversity monitoring equipment & maintenance
  • Finalization of the credit class and methodology with the Indigenous community actively engaged in community governance and informed consent

At the project’s kickoff event on March 2, $16,000 worth of credits were purchased and another $27,500 have been committed by April 15. 

You can learn more about the Biocultural Jaguar Credits program and support its mission with the pre-financing of the project through Regen Network’s Marketplace.