Did you know baru seeds are much more than a snack? Their trees are an important part of a biome connected to the whole of South America and the world. These are ways baru seeds are beneficial to everyone:
The foraging of baru seeds generates revenue to local communities in the Brazilian savannah and creates a sustainable industry within Mid-western Brazil, a poor region of a country with a huge wealth gap. It takes power away from large agribusiness corporations as it creates self-employed families and co-ops, stimulating the local economy and also sharing revenue a lot more evenly than the agribusiness.
- The Amazon
Baru seeds bring awareness to a little-known fact: the Cerrado is deeply connected with the Amazon, especially regarding their shared water cycle. Baru trees, as other Cerrado deep-rooted species, allow rainfall to enter the water tables, which eventually form major rivers in South America that feed the Amazon rainforest. Thus, trees such as baru actively hinder deforestation in the Cerrado and passively in the Amazon rainforest by allowing its massive rainfall to be returned.
- Climate Change
As published in several magazine articles, such as in Brazil: Urgent action on Cerrado extinctions: “(…)our findings show that a severe extinction episode is unfolding in the Cerrado, with plant extinctions projected to be an order of magnitude higher than all global recorded plant extinctions so far — yet in our view, this catastrophe can be avoided(..)”. The Cerrado is a huge water reservoir, and the most biodiverse savanna in the world, home to an enormous variety of plants and animals. However, unlike the Amazon rainforest, the Cerrado is barely protected by laws, has zero international awareness and was mostly deforested, giving way to agribusiness interests. With only a quarter of its original vegetation left and an imminent water crisis, there are several credible sources noting the huge threat the collapse of the Cerrado could pose to the global environment and economy, with optimist scenarios predicting a collapse of the Cerrado, and by proxy the Amazon, by 2050 – we are literally on the verge of living a Black Mirror episode.