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Carnaval Sustentável Forest Footprint Methodology

Salvador, Brazil

Salvador, Brazil

The Carnaval de Salvador in Brazil is the world’s largest street party, attracting over 2 million participants from around the world. The yearly carnival brings together people of various ages, styles, classes and tastes, celebrating Salvador's rich cultural heritage. It is known for its energy, cultural and musical performances, and highly organized system of how spectators can take part in the carnival. Participants can join Blocos to parade through Salvador’s streets behind a trio elétrico, a mobile stage. The Pipoca Carnival, is the free option for crowds to dance on the streets behind open Blocos, and is how much of the local population enjoys the festivities. Alternatively, there are hundreds of sectioned-off Blocos that are paid and commercialized and allow the audience to follow the trio elétrico at closer proximity.  The Blocos follow three “circuits”, which cover 25 km of Salvador’s streets. The famed Camarotes are private side-parties along the circuits, where participants can watch the Blocos in VIP zones with Dj's, live bands, bars, food facilities, as well other types of entertainment. 

Sustainability Seal/Carnaval Sustentável

In 2013, Salvador’s Secretariat for Sustainability, Resilience, Welfare and Animal Promotion (SECIS) introduced the Carnaval Sustentável, in recognition of the resources required for the celebration, the excessive waste generated, high pollution emissions, as well as the low inclusion of people with disabilities. The program aims to make the carnival more sustainable and use the largest street party in the world to showcase innovative ideas and initiatives that respect the environment. Entrepreneurs and artists began adopting sustainable and social actions, such as using LED lights, decorating the trio elétricos with recycled materials, as well as installing wheelchair access ramps and initiating campaigns against racism and child labour. 

In 2023, the “Eu Promovo o Carnaval Sustentável” - “I promote the Sustainable Carnival” was launched as a sustainable authentication seal to encourage Camarotes to establish sustainable practices. Seven Camarotes joined the program. To participate, the VIP zones had to meet 30% of the pre-established criteria such as campaigns against sexual violence, LGBTphobia, accessibility, as well as social inclusion and gas emission reduction programs. Throughout the Carnival, SECIS monitored and evaluated the VIP zones with a score for the seal. 

As part of this initiative, Cities4Forests/Pilot Projects’ developed the 2023 Carnaval Forest Footprint Pilot to estimate the area of tropical deforestation and associated CO2 emissions resulting from consumption in the selected Camarotes. This helped the city visualize and raise awareness about the consumption of forest-risk commodities and resulting impacts and become familiar with the process, methodology and vocabulary. The 2023 Carnaval Forest Footprint Pilot also resulted in a Forest Footprint Action Plan to help reduce the Forest Footprint of the Carnaval in the coming years, potentially including the entire event. Future actions would include mitigation measures at the source such as food products that support tropical forests, as well as emissions reductions actions at the Carnaval. 

More information on Salvador’s Forest Footprint can be found here.

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