Three major Brazilian commodity companies and three banks created a forestry company that aims to create in 20 years an expanse of protected areas equal in size to the state of Rio de Janeiro, reported Reuters.

Biomas was presented at the COP27 Climate Conference, in Egypt, by Suzano, Vale, Marfrig, Itaú Unibanco, Santander Brasil and Rabobank. Each of the companies is investing 20 million reais in Biomas to support the its initial operations. The proposed business model is based on the commercialization of carbon credits. The number of companies participating in Biomas may be expanded in the future.

Their goal is to create ​​4 million hectares of protected native forests in different Brazilian biomes within 20 years. The regions include the Amazon, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado. Of these 4 million, 2 million will involve the restoration of degraded areas from the planting of around 2 billion native trees.  Suzano, the world’s largest producer of eucalyptus pulp, said that Biomas will operate independently and does not hold any areas that belong to Suzano.

Biomas does not intend to acquire land, but instead wants to establish partnerships with landowners by sharing part of the revenue that will be generated from the sale of carbon credits.

Companies in the Biomas alliance estimate that the project could reduce around 900 million tons of carbon equivalent from the atmosphere in 20 years. They dod not, however, project the number of credits that this volume of carbon could generate.

The first phase of the project will be identifying and prospecting areas, fostering nurseries for the large-scale production of native trees, engaging local communities in the company’s activities, discussing the application of the project in public areas, and implementing pilot projects.