Creating Solutions to Protect the Rainforest from Destruction
Raintree Nutrition, Inc. was founded on the principal that sustainable wild-harvesting of rainforestplants provides the best viable and economic alternative to destroying the forest for the incomeprovided by timber harvesting, large scale cultivation programs, subsistence cropping, and other agricultural schemes like cattle operations. Since the forest is being destroyed for the income andprofits it yields; if we are truly prepared to preserve our remaining forests we must offer thesetypes of viable economic alternatives which addresses the real problem. Since it’s inception in 1995, Raintree has been a leader in creating a world market for theimportant sustainable plants of the Amazon Rainforest. Today, millions of acres of governmentowned, privately held, NGO controlled, and Indian demarcated lands in the Amazon aredemonstrating through Raintree’s harvesting programs, that wild-harvesting plants on rainforestland provides greater income and profits to the land owner and country than any other unsustainable land usage. Raintree’s harvesting programs competes successfully and directlywith other interests in the rainforest like timber logging and results in higher profits for the landwhile still preserving its biodiversity instead of destroying it. This is the economic incentive andencouragement necessary to protect the rainforest for future generations and it is working toprotect rainforest lands today.
The Value of the Amazon
The Amazon Rainforest has long been a symbol of mystery and power; a sacred link betweenhumans and nature. It is also by far the richest biological incubator on the planet. It supportsmillions of unique plant, animal, and insect species - a virtual library of chemical invention andthus far, scientists have cataloged and studied less than 5%. In these chemical archives, drugslike quinine, muscle relaxants, steroids and cancer drugs are found. More importantly, are the newdrugs still awaiting discovery - possible drugs for AIDS, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's andmany more. Many untold medicinal treasures await discovery in the depths of the Amazon. Soalluring is this storehouse of millions of novel chemicals that over 100 pharmaceutical companiesand even the U.S. government are currently funding projects studying tropical rainforest plants.Yet extracting these secrets from the jungles is no easy task and sadly, this state of affairs maynot last long enough into the future for man to unlock all their secrets. Tragically, rainforests oncecovered 14% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6%. In less than 50 years, morethan half of the world's tropical rainforests have fallen victim to fire and the chain saw and the rateof destruction is still accelerating. Experts estimate that we are losing 130 species of plants,animals and insects every single day as they become extinct from the loss of rainforest land andhabitats. How many possible cures to devastating diseases have we already lost?