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Rainforest in Peril Project

THE KALLARI ASSOCIATION
The Kallari Association is a self-governed coalition of Amazon artists and organic cocoa producers in Ecuador. The cooperative began in 1997

Roxana Splitting Cacao Pod

Roxana Splitting Cacao Pod

with less than fifty families and has now grown to over 850 families. Kallari has created sustainable income so Kichwa people can fulfill basic family needs without logging their rainforests or selling their land.  Just ten years ago, middlemen kept profits for themselves and set low prices for cocoa beans.

PROVEN HISTORY:
Environmental conservation in the past century demonstrated that landowners protect natural resources when they have economic incentives. Our goal is to create four new lines of trial non-timber forest products (NTFP) in the Amazon region of Ecuador: fresh produce, essential oils, fruit pulp, herbal infusions and woodcrafts.

PARADISE IN PERIL:
The Napo province is home to 14% of the world’s bird species and located in one the world’s leading conservation biodiversity hotspot, the Tropical Andes-Amazon region. It is also one the areas experiencing the most infrastructure development and is threatened by logging and petroleum interests. Conservation experts predict the next decade will decide if the Napo Province will retain its rainforest reserves or be condemned to the plight of nearby Amazon provinces. More than half of the neighboring provinces of Orellana and Sucumbios has been exploited to the point of extreme biodiversity loss and severe water/soil/air pollution levels causing increased cancer rates.

AMAZON INCOME INNOVATION:
We plan to counter the road development by creating economic alternatives with sustainable harvests, so families are empowered and have an opportunity to provide for their needs without sacrificing their natural resources to clear-cut harvesting.  Processing small amounts of Non-Timber Forestry Products and salvaged wood into value-added goods with a longer shelf life will help Amazon people create sustainable incomes. Kallari has proven that by offering economic alternatives to the one-time payments of logging companies, we can discourage families to succumb to the economic pressure of selling their rainforest resources.

PARTNERSHIP:
Kallari Association established not-for-profit status in the U.S. To facilitate the record-keeping and provide a third party review, they are partnering on this project with Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) from Wisconsin. Since 1984, WCCN has worked to establish healthy, equitable relations between global North and South America, a unique approach to help create partnerships a in an effort to help alleviate poverty.

FUNDRAISING WISH-LIST:
Kallari was able to generate interest and to get excellent international support to begin this project, but we still need funds for several more aspects of the project:

  • $4000 for 50 community workshops in the rural rainforest villages to coordinate annual fruit and nut harvests
  • $7,500 for production permits to register processing new products with Ecuadorian food and safety service
  • $10,000 anti-oxidant and alkaloid testing of 10 species that are ‘unknown’ in urban markets, for developing marketing materials to promote the species in markets without the cultural familiarity of the health benefits
  • $14,400 for the next 18 months of a salaried position of a professional Kichwa botanist and horticultural expert to continue educating the village members in the best propagation techniques for uncommon rainforest plant species with a high market demand that are available in small quantities
  • $20,000 operating capital to purchase the produce and cover transit costs to the urban supermarket distribution center

CONNECTING CORPORATIONS TO THE PROJECT
Exotic Chocolate Tasting, Inc. recognizes the need for continued funding in a supporting role for the Kichwa community. Founder Roxanne Browning has taken a personal interest in the Kallari Association since her visit there in 2011. Witnessing first-hand their willingness to remain independent and to offer a better future for their families and protect the rainforest. Though the Kallari Association initiatives and entrepreneurial spirit, they can succeed with the small amount of funding needed.

The New York area is home to many corporations with a global reach and heightened awareness of social responsibility. Exotic Chocolate Tasting wishes to foster an alliance with business to this grassroots endeavor that will make a significant impact for 850 families that are our stewards for the Amazon rainforest.  Contact Roxanne Browning for more information or for the entire report.

NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams reports on the demise of the rainforest – Over a Barrel – May 3, 2013

ExoticChocolateTasting@gmail.com
ExoticChocolateTasting.com
631-252-0658

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