The Standing Forest
For 17 years, Natura has been helping preserve the Amazon forest as they create programs for local communities to learn and protect their most valuable resource.
The Amazon forest is abundant in every aspect – it shelters 55% of the tropical forests in the world, as well as 20% of the fresh water from rivers. It has a fundamental role as a regulator to the world’s climate. Its richness also makes it a target for exploitation: logging, mining, agriculture, and hydroelectric power.
... a standing tree is more valuable than a fallen one.
Since 2000, Natura has been committed to developing new sustainable business models in the Amazon. In 2011, they created the Programa Amazônia, to help preserve the beauty and health of this region by not only committing to buying natural resources from the region for use in their products, but also to educating and supporting the local communities in building a sustainable business model.
Altogether, Natura works with 28 different communities, contributing to the income of 2,841 families, which means 8,500 people. The program supports the conservation of 635,000 acres of forest and 25 native species. It is a sustainable economic, ecological and social model.
Before Natura got involved, native communities had no other economic choice but to log exotic trees, such as the murumuru. Now, because the fruit of the murumuru has been used by Natura, the locals protect the trees and harvest the fruits. The program’s slogan is simple: a standing tree is more valuable than a fallen one. By offering fair trade for the commercialization of the fruits, Natura, together with the local communities, is discovering how to better benefit from nature without killing it.
Programa Amazônia is also helping improve living conditions for the communities. In partnership with SANEAR Amazônia and the Ministry of Health, new sources of clean water have been delivered leading to a significant reduction in child mortality rates.
Natura supports 30 rural schools in Pará, enrolling more than 2,000 kids. They have helped add new programs to the curriculum which focus on technical education applied to local needs – increasing local employment and keeping the best and brightest from leaving the communities to otherwise look for work. The students spend half the month in the school and the remainder of the time in the community, applying what they’ve learned. The aim is to give them the tools to be autonomous.
Everytime you chose a product from Natura’s Ekos line, you put this sustainable chain into action. This network helps turn beauty into a movement, returning resources locally to the region, helping to reinforce value of the living forest, so that, in turn, nature can generate more and more beauty.