Sustainable Harvesting of Amazonian Super Fruits in Peru
Açaí, camu camu, and aguaje are just a few of what are called “super fruits” found in the Peruvian Amazon. For centuries, aguaje has been consumed locally for its powerful health benefits, but now our “Super Fruits that Conserve Forests” project supports sales outside of the region. This project will support local conservation efforts as well as provide an improved livelihood for local and Indigenous communities.
The Aguaje tree grows on over 14 million acres of Amazon land and can be harvested sustainably through a method of climbing the palm rather than cutting it down for its fruit. Yet, this is only possible when sustainable practices are used, and the Indigenous communities have a say over the use of the natural resources in their territories. When left uncut, the aguaje has the capacity of retaining three times the carbon of other trees. The palm spans 7.5 million acres in the western Loreto region of Peru, which is also home to the highest density of Indigenous people in the country.
Nature and Culture has been implementing the “Super Fruits that Conserve Forests” project, with the goal of ensuring sustainable practices in the harvesting of aguaje and camu camu super fruits, as well as the strengthening of organizational and financial structures of 14 Indigenous and local communities located in and around natural protected areas in Loreto, Peru.
We hope to scale this model of sustainable use of super fruits to new communities and with new species such as the huasaí and the ungurahui fruits.