One of the most typical ecosystems in the Southern region of Brazil, the Mixed Ombrophilous Forest (MOF), or Paraná Pine Forest, has been reduced to 3% of its original area. Extraction activities, especially in the second half of last century, led the Paraná Pine (Araucária, Araucaria angustifolia) to be included in the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In order to curb the degradation of this ecosystem, generating value for existing remnants, we have started the implementation of the Araucária+ initiative in partnership with the Fundação Centros de Referência em Tecnologias Inovadoras (CERTI – Reference Centers for Innovative Technologies).
Araucária+ establishes the creation and capacitation of an institution to enable investments in actions that develop new and responsible uses for the pine nut and the mate, which depend on the conservation of the forest to be produced. The pine nut is the seed of the Paraná Pine and serves as a source of food for humans, domestic animals, and for the wild fauna as well. The mate, on its turn, is a native tree of Mixed Ombrophilous Forests, whose leaves and branches are used for the production of beverages such as the mate and the tererê (mate that is consumed cold).
Due to the importance of pine nuts and mate for regional economy, Araucária+ encourages the sustainable production of these products aiming at aggregating value to them. Thus, the initiative brings economy and conservation together, providing employment and income to the population, guaranteeing the conservation of species comprising the ecosystem and the environmental services provided by it.