Sustainability

The vast majority of resource-utilising industry located in the Amazon is mining based, with net losses causing irreplaceable loss of biodiversity and often leading to further downstream destruction of environment and consequential social displacement.

Uses for trees where these have a higher value left standing than cut down or burnt are rare in this region. The rubber industry was such a use, until seeds were exported to Malaysia in a move that spelt the beginning of the end to the rubber industry in the Amazon, and the rebirth of intensive logging. The Açaí fruit industry is another such use. There are very few other examples, and yet, this really is a model for how to save the Amazon.

Debt-for-nature swaps have also been promoted as a feasible mechanism for ensuring the protection of the Amazonian rainforests. The fact is that even those forests that have been apparently "saved" are being attacked at a local level. What is required is local interest and understanding that the resource is too valuable to cut down. Making this demonstrably clear at a local level where the ultimate decision to destroy or save is made, is really the key to saving even a part of the Amazon. The world quite simply must find more sustainable uses like that provided by the Açaí berry.

The Açaí fruit industry is regarded by Greenpeace as one of the few initiatives that are necessary to prevent the continuing destruction of the Amazon whilst simultaneously improving the quality of life for people living in the region.