Rainforests are among the most bio-diverse and productive ecosystems on the earth, yet they are being destroyed at alarming rates. At the same time, local Indigenous communities are a powerful force for protection and restoration yet they are left out of traditional conservation strategies. Not only does this accelerate the cycle of poverty and threaten the viability of the conserved lands, but it works to eliminate the cultural diversity and knowledge that the local people embody.
Our partnership with the Marrecas Community helps provide living wage jobs to 250 families while protecting 40,000 acres of forest. Guayakis model of using demand for yerba mate to protect the forest begins with a a comprehensive community development plan. Defining specific environmental and social goals empowers community leaders to steward this precious natural resource while utilizing access to international markets as a driver for sustainable community development.
This project binds stable, fair incomes and community health to protection of the Atlantic Rainforest. The mutually beneficial interplay between economic development and ecological conservation binds the well being of our partner communities to the health of their Atlantic Rainforest. This holistic approach to sustainable development and conservation places our partner communities as stewards of these fragile ecosystems, ensuring that today's conservation efforts endure for generations.