Guayaki Yerba MateSubmitted by World Beat on Thu, 01/21/2010 - 20:52
Growing up, we always heard “money does not grow on trees.” Well, today we are proving that “money does grow on trees” and rainforest-grown yerba mate is the new green currency. It provides the peoples of the rainforest with income as well as the ability to steward their land.
Yerba mate is native to the Atlantic Forest. Look at this map of the upper Parana forest, one of the ecoregions of the Atlantic Forest, which shows the rampant, recent deforestation (95% of the Atlantic Forest has been deforested). Now, with a proven market for rainforest-grown yerba mate, we can begin to reforest this ecoregion with native mate forests. Forest grown mate is environmentally sustainable in the long term and provides for more income per acre than cattle or agricultural products such as corn, soy or wheat. It will take some time, but as consumers vote with their dollars, we funnel the dollars where they need to go: to the people who are stewarding their forests. This is the crux of our mission: MARKET DRIVEN RESTORATION - "MDR."