VERENA Project — Valorização Econômica do Reflorestamento com Espécies Nativas (Economic Value Increase of Reforestation with Native Species) — was created in 2015. Its founders were the businessman Roberto Waack, WRI Brasil and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The latter two organizations are currently leading the initiative, which receives financial support from the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
One of its goals is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of restoration and reforestation with native species on a large scale, highlighting the social and environmental benefits thereof. It is part of the Brazilian contribution to solving the climate challenge, focusing on the expansion of forest cover in degraded areas and the strengthening of the forestry and low carbon emission economy.
To fulfill its mission, VERENA works with the most representative experiences (business cases) in this field of activity in Brazil. A team of economists, forestry engineers and agronomists specialized in forestry and agriculture analyzes how such experiences have been developed and their operating chain.
These experts also study bottlenecks and make recommendations for the improvement of public policies aimed at removing barriers and creating incentives for a new forest industry. Economic modeling and consistent and robust business plans are developed based on this work, allowing experiences of different typologies of the forestry continuum to be replicated.
VERENA is also dedicated to understanding and analyzing the trade in final forestry products and its trends. Thus, it is possible to re-dimension the perceptions of risk and return related to this activity, promoting market and farmer investments.