Projeto Russas and Projeto Valparaíso are two private carbon offset projects of the company CarbonCo in the Brazilian state of Acre.
The projects are part of the international REDD+ program which has its roots in the UN climate negotiations and aims to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation by economically incentivizing the conservation, sustainable management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in so-called developing countries. Thus, through the introduction of market schemes and international investment, carbon stored in forests becomes a new commodity that allows polluters to compensate their emissions, however not without potential controversies when it comes to the effects on local communities. The state of Acre was historically a site of social struggles of rubber tappers and indigenous communities and one of today’s main venues for the market-based conservation schemes, which is ironically discursively legitimized by the state’s recognition of the conservation achievements of the rubber tapper movement around Chico Mendes. Especially after experiencing an ongoing trend of deforestation through the (incentivized) expansion of the agricultural frontier and increasing pressure on areas close to the newly constructed highway BR-364, it has become a forerunner in promoting REDD+ schemes with the rationale to incentivize the conservation of forests. In 2010, it adopted the Sistema Estadual de Incentivos a Serviços Ambientais (SISA) as a jurisdictional approach to implement REDD+ on the state level and a legislative framework that promotes the linking of private REDD+ initiatives to national or international carbon markets. The creation of SISA was financially supported by the national Amazon Fund which in turn received significant funding from the Norwegian Government, the German Development Bank KfW, and the oil company Petrobras.    
The Valparaíso and Russas projects are almost identical in their design and located next to each other, 40 kilometers south of the city of Cruzeiro do Sul in the very West of Acre. They were launched in 2011, shortly after the controversial Purus REDD project and before REDD Envira Amazonia in 2012. All projects are initiated by CarbonCo, developed by Carbon Securities and certified with VCS and CCB standards. Manoel Batista Lopes is the land owner of the Valparaíso project, the company I.S.R.C. Investimentos e Assessoria the one of the Russas project and also in charge with the on-site management of both projects (thus receiving a share of Manoel Batista Lopes’ revenues). The project areas are characterized by biologically diverse tropical forests and were used in the past as seringais (rubber plantations) until the price of rubber crashed. The areas are home of about 55 riverine communities (approximately 450 people), many of them former rubber tappers who nowadays mainly live from subsistence agriculture. An important crop is cassava which is also partly sold as flour, but also bananas, rice, beans, corn, millet, watermelons and sugar cane are planted. Additionally, communities live from fishing, hunting and the gathering of fruits, nuts and other plants in the forest. None of them possess land titles although the projects declared the will to facilitate these in the future for the currently inhabited and 'productive' areas. The project reports frame them, their practices and feared inward-migration as a major risk of unplanned deforestation and state that, as a response, their project will provide a diversification of their income through the establishment of an association (to market cassava flour and açai) and the direct sharing of 5% of the generated revenues of the sold carbon credits. Additionally they announce the improvement of health services, socioeconomic and biodiversity monitoring as well as agricultural extension trainings. In the first series of these in 2013, around 100 participants took part in four one-week-courses on practices of production without fire.   
With regard to the current process of implementing market-based conservation policies and in particular REDD+ projects in Acre, civil society organizations note an increasing institutional hostility towards any kind of opposition and an institutional incapacity to protect the rights of the affected communities. In 2015, the Brazilian human rights network Dhesca undertook a field visit to examine the situation in the project areas of Russas and the Valparaíso and revealed the problematic impact of the projects on the communities as these are affected by severe political and environmental injustices on the site and, moreover, risk being subjected to the logic of the market after the incorporation into REDD+ schemes. The report notes that when communities were consulted in the beginning of the projects (after they had already started), its implications were never explained right, people who cannot read were made sign documents, and told that the projects would happen whether they wanted or not. It is criticized that communities became restricted in their traditional usages of forest and thus cannot continue subsistence practices as for example drilling and the use of fire - which is essential for cultivating small parcels of land within the forest - were prohibited in 2014. While in the beginning, threats of expulsion as well as high promises (including the regularization of their land rights, and alternative economic models) were made to make communities cooperate, not much of that was actually realized but instead traditional modes of living were stigmatized as ‘backward’ in the project’s rationale of environmental sustainability. Dhesca also mentions a lack of transparency and that the promised trainings were conducted but apparently not very systematically. It concludes that the situation on-site shows the incapacity of the state to guarantee community rights, which is however not surprising as also the process of demarcation of indigenous territories has been delayed since 2004 and remained an ongoing social and indigenous struggle in wide areas of the Amazon.  
As a consequence, over the last years Acre has experienced an increasing civil mobilization against the implemented REDD+ projects in the region. Local indigenous movements have tried to form a broader alliance and received the support from environmental NGOs like Friends of the Earth or the World Rainforest Movement and organizations such as the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI). In 2013, the alliance of communities raised critique in an open letter to the Californian government as carbon credits generated in Acre are traded on the Californian carbon market. This encompassed wider critique of the rationale behind carbon trading as socially unjust and, moreover, environmentally ineffective, as polluter through emission can simply continue and deforestation might just happen elsewhere. Indigenous communities see a violation to their right of free, prior, informed consent, including the right to say no to such projects, as guaranteed in convention 169 of the International Labor Organization and note the neocolonial and top-down character of REDD+ projects in restricting and criminalizing their traditional and sustainable ways of life.  Also several demonstrations against REDD+ and the currently worsening situation of indigenous rights throughout Brazil happened in Brasilia, Rio Branco and Feijó in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and even led to short occupations and street closures.  An indigenous leader of the Huni Kui moreover raised international awareness for the conflict after speaking out against REDD+ projects in Acre at the U.N. climate summit in Lima in 2014. He reaffirmed the critique of lacking transparency and consultation of affected communities and caused problems such as the prohibition of traditional practices of fishing, hunting and cultivating food in the forest, making it increasingly difficult for communities to make a living. He also denounced intimidation against REDD+ opponents, including the threats to cut communities health and educational services, and attempted cooptation of their leaders, offering them money and cars for support of REDD+, and thus creating internal divide. 
In 2017 and as a response to a meeting of state government and corporate representatives over further carbon offsetting schemes, including the aviation sector, another wave of mobilization started when representatives of the Apurinã, Huni Kui, Jaminawa, Manchineri and Shawadawa indigenous peoples, representatives of traditional communities, rubber tappers, academics and supporting organizations held a meeting to discuss the effects of recent REDD+ policies on traditional populations. This resulted in the Xapuri Declaration that unifies the struggle of indigenous peoples and rubber tappers and rejects all initiatives of carbon offsetting. It is argued that these pursue a socially and environmentally destructive model that restricts traditional ways of life and lacks effectiveness to reduce carbon emissions carbon credits are actually pollution credits. Such false solutions to environmental pollution at the back of communities would moreover lack transparency and reveal new forms of environmental racism and climate colonialism as communities become forced into other socio-economic models, in which they become indebted and impoverished or criminalized and expropriated of their lands. The declaration expresses its particular concern about the communities of Valparaíso and Russas and demands the demarcation and recognition of the communities’ rights to land and territory.  This was followed by a controversy over the communities’ representation as the Association of the Movement of Indigenous Agroforestry Agents of Acre (AMAAIAC) published an open letter in response to the Xapuri Declaration, blaming the opponents of REDD+ for acting irresponsibly and denouncing in particular CIMI for its objection to carbon offset projects. This response letter was in the following circulated by the corporate sector and communities raised the concern about an imminent cooptation of some of its leaders as it included signatures of indigenous groups. Shortly after, six leaders of the Jaminawa indigenous people published a statement that AMAAIAC and its critique of CIMI does not represent them; they requested everyone to stop speaking on behalf of them and instead demanded transparency regarding the money flows of earlier REDD projects in Acre.    Shortly after, the alliance formed in Xapuri sent out a press release with open critique of Acre’s government and the public agency FUNAI for ongoing intimidation of indigenous communities and leaders opposed to REDD+. It stated that since the Xapuri meeting many participants had been pressured, threatened and intimidated while public authorities seem unwilling to protect indigenous rights and the interest of the people.  In 2018, another meeting as a follow-up to the Xapuri Declaration was held in Sena Madureira and the mobilizing indigenous and traditional communities and environmental organizations emphasized their continuing resistance against offsetting projects in Acre and the false solutions of the green economy. They noted the recent resumption of the Jaminawa people to occupy their historical territory and critical words by Pope Francis with respect to carbon trading as recent successes that give hope to continue the struggles against the increasing pressure from the green economy.