3 ways that baru seeds impact the world positively

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:

    1. Socially
      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.

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      Wild baru seeds are wildcrafted and handpicked individually, employing hundreds of communities and discouraging deforestation as it generates income.

    2. 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.

      watercycle

      Water clouds come from the Atlantic Ocean (1) and enter the Amazon rainforest becoming flying rivers (2), heading south (3) towards Midwestern Brazil (4). This rainfall penetrates the soil through deep-rooted vegetation and integrates water tables that feed rivers such as the Tocantins, Araguaia, and Xingu (5), returning to the rainforest.

    3. 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.

      thousand-alligators-dead-brazil-2.jpg

      The Araguaia River saw in October 2017 the worst drought in its recorded history. Depicted, stranded alligators starve in the mud. Source: Globo Tocantins.

Resources:
Agribusiness seizes Brazilian power. New Internationalist, 1 Oct 2017.
Agronegócio acelera a devastação do Cerrado. 3 March 2017. Caritas Brasileira.
Anticipated changes to environmental law may jeopardize Brazilian natural resources. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 15. 65-66. 10.1002/fee.1461.
Brazil’s Cerrado forests won’t be saved by corporate pledges on deforestation. 8 December 2017, The Conversation.
Brazil’s drought: Protect biodiversity. Science Magazine, 27 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6229, pp. 1427-1428.
Brazil’s indigenous people outraged as agency targeted in conservative-led cuts. The Guardian, 10 July 2017.
Brazil: Urgent action on Cerrado extinctions. Nature 540, 199, 08 December 2016.
Brazil’s Water Cycle: Effects of Deforestation on the Water Supply. The Nature Conservancy.
Com metade da área devastada, cerrado pode desaparecer ainda neste século. 19 Nov 2017, Correio Braziliense.
Como as raízes do Cerrado levam água a torneiras de todas as regiões do Brasil. BBC Brazil, 27 March 2017.
Devastação do cerrado gera desequilíbrio ambiental. Correio Braziliense, November 2017.
Dry land, full rivers. October 2009, FAPESP.
Hard times for the Brazilian environment. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 1213 (2017).
Moment of truth for the Cerrado hotspot. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 0099 (2017) | DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0099.
Soybean cultivation as a threat to the environment in Brazil. Environmental Conservation 28 (1): 23–38, 10 Oct 2000.
Fred Pearce. The Land Grabbers: The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth. Beacon Press, May 29, 2012 – Social Science – 286 pages.
Policies mix can avoid extinctions of historic proportions projected for the Cerrado, shows a study coordinated by Brazilians, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. CSRIO, 23 March 2017.