Ecosystem restoration job creation potential in Brazil.

Published online
04 Jan 2023
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
People and Nature

Brancalion, P. H. S. & Siqueira, L. P. de & Amazonas, N. T. & Rizek, M. B. & Mendes, A. F. & Santiami, E. L. & Rodrigues, R. R. & Calmon, M. & Benini, R. & Tymus, J. R. C. & Holl, K. D. & Chaves, R. B.
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The central motivation to restore ecosystems at a planetary scale has been to reverse degradation and provide multiple environmental benefits, but key global players like governments may be more interested in social outcomes from undertaking restoration, such as job creation. Assessing the job opportunities stemming from ongoing restoration programmes can leverage additional investments for their implementation and support their long-term maintenance. Here, we aimed to understand and quantify current and potential ecosystem restoration jobs in Brazil, based on a widely distributed online survey performed in 2020 and led by the main restoration networks in the country. We explored the structure, job distribution and outputs of the national restoration supply chain. At the beginning of 2020, 4713 temporary and 3510 permanent jobs were created, nearly 60% of which were generated by organizations specialized in restoration, mainly from the non-profit (48%) and private (37%) sectors. Restoration jobs were concentrated in organizations working in one (58%) or two (28%) biomes, and the vast majority were in the Atlantic Forest (85%). Similarly, most restoration jobs were concentrated in the southeast region (61%), with one-third in the state of São Paulo. This geographical distribution was more strongly associated with the states' GDP than with the legal deficit of native vegetation area. Nearly 20% of the restoration jobs were terminated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We estimate that restoration activities can generate 0.42 jobs per hectare undergoing restoration, which could potentially create 1.0-2.5 million direct jobs through the implementation of Brazil's target of restoring 12 million hectares. We conclude by reinforcing the value of ecosystem restoration in promoting economic development and job creation, which can be crucial to promote countries' effective engagement in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. We also highlight the critical role of grassroots organizations to maximize restoration opportunities for socioeconomic development during the post-pandemic economic recovery.

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