The Edible Forest Initiative supports insect and animal migration while improving food security for Indigenous communities
Edible Forest Initiative
AAC’s Edible Forest Initiative is nested within the larger framework of our ambitious conservation program to create a 175-mile eco-cultural corridor connecting the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Basin. This tree-planting initiative is essential to the functionality of the eco-cultural corridor as it reconnects fragmented forests, provides food for migrating wildlife and humans who live in the area, and supports the food sovereignty of local communities.
Much of the land our Indigenous partners are conserving through land-use planning is in the Amazon Basin, more than 50 miles past the roaded frontier. But the most vulnerable and urgent region needing attention is at the base of the Andes Mountains, where deforestation is well underway. The rainforest has become fragmented through timber harvesting and cattle ranching, impacting the wildlife migration essential in maintaining the robust biodiversity of the region.
A mere 40 years ago, this land was a lush rainforest occupied by Indigenous Communities with more than enough native wildlife and plants to harvest to meet their physical and cultural needs. With the intrusion of roads and a capitalist economy, many people now live in cinder-block houses in deforested areas. They can no longer live off the land and must harvest and sell timber in order to survive, accelerating deforestation. AAC’s Edible Forest Initiative aims to reverse this destructive cycle.
AAC is currently growing over 10,000 saplings, with a plan for an additional 50,000 by the end of 2023. These species include the Morete palm, which can produce more than 400 lbs of nuts per tree each year at full maturity.
Thousands of fruit and nut trees, harvestable within 5 years, will provide food for migrating animals and food security for Indigenous Communities in the area. By providing employment for the planting and tending of these trees, AAC offers needed economic security to our planting teams.