With support from Exelon, ECCo is working in Peru's Cordillera Azul National Park to develop an avoided deforestation protocol. The goal is for the avoided deforestation carbon market to finance management of the Park for its long-term protection.

Standing forests are crucial in mitigating climate change: Deforestation, primarily in the tropics, accounts for roughly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions each year. Avoided deforestation could become a major financial incentive for tropical countries to invest in standing forests. Besides preventing the release of greenhouse gases, these enormous expanses of living forests conserve extraordinary biodiversity. They also provide crucial ecosystem services—like prevention of erosion and clean water—and livelihoods for neighboring villagers.

Exelon's ongoing support helps ECCo's scientists to conduct rapid biological and social inventories in the headwaters of the Amazon. These inventories have been powerful in translating science into the legal protection of vast, intact landscapes, including Cordillera Azul.