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Article

3 Nov 2021

Author:
Mongabay

Brazil: Rapid growth of the industry has had serious impacts on the lowland forests where açaí is grown, according to Biological Conservation

"Your açaí smoothie may be destroying floodplain forests in the Amazon", 03 November 2021

...Açaí has always been part of the Amazonian diet...

Thanks to globalization, it didn’t take long for the Amazonian fruit to make it to the international market. According to FIEPA, the federation of industries in the Amazonian state of Pará, açaí exports have increased by 14,380% over the past 10 years...

The rapid growth of the industry, however, has had serious impacts on the lowland forests where açaí is grown, according to a recently published study in the journal Biological Conservation. The study authors, led by Pará biologist Madson Freitas, analyzed 47 lowland areas around estuarine forests along the Amazon River in Pará, where açai palms are cultivated.

The research shows that cutting native trees to expand açaí plantations caused a reduction in the number of species and functions in this riparian Amazonian ecosystem, where forests grow along the banks of muddy rivers that regularly flood...

“Producers have come to ignore the local biodiversity. Other plants in the floodplain have been disappearing and this compromises the functionality of the forest as a whole,” said Ima Vieira, a co-author of the recent paper and ecologist who studies the Amazon’s resilience to deforestation...

In some parts of the Amazon, the sustainable management that the article proposes is already a reality...