The Amazon Rainforest is the Lungs of our Planet. Its plants create 20% of the Earth’s oxygen, with an estimated 438,000 species of plants in 1.2 billion acres. Yet, more than 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has already been destroyed, and the rate of destruction is accelerating – 20,000 square miles are vanishing each year, (that’s 3 times the rate of 1994!)
Thailand’s recent economic growth has been a boon it its people, but this hasn’t spared the country a range of environmental problems: Deforestation, soil erosion, wildlife trade, and air and water pollution. Along coastal areas, popular locations for tourism and urban and industrial development, populations have grown, putting coastal wetlands, coral reefs, mangroves and seagrasses under threat.
Zola is a proud supporter of biodiversity and sustainable harvesting. Growing Açaí allows the trees to be put to their highest and best use while locals are given job opportunities – a win-win for the environment and the local community!
Açaí grows at the top of the same palm trees that are cut down for “Hearts of Palm.” Once a tree is cut down, it takes years to regrow. However, the locals actually make more money through sustainable harvesting than they do cutting down the trees. Here’s the math: one hectare (2.471 acres) used as a cattle pasture will produce just $148 per year. Clear-cutting that same land for timber will produce 8x more or $1,000, but this is only a one-time gain. Sustainably harvesting that land for fruits like Açaí will produce almost 7x more! And it is a crop that regenerates year after year.