Camino Verde Seed Bank
This Earth Day, Shamans Market salutes the good work of seed banks and the work of one of the charities we support, that of the social justice-minded organization known as Camino Verde. Led by Robin Van Loon, Camino Verde is situated in one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, the Peruvian Amazon, and operates a unique Living Seed Bank, where they plant and protect native trees, assist local farmers and conduct research to aid commercial reforestation efforts.Seed banks are genetic stockpiles that safeguard the future of important plants by preserving and reproducing their seeds. Camino Verde’s Living Seed Bank goes one step further, by planting and protecting living trees that provide seeds each season for future reforestation efforts.Their ongoing Living Seed Bank project aims to:
- Act as a botanical garden, representing the broadest variety possible of useful trees, such as those used for medicine, fruit, timber, crafts materials, ornamental horticulture. Since 2011, the LSB includes over 250 tree species.
- Emphasize key trees including over-exploited and endangered Amazonian species, especially those that have not been reforested in the past. These “heritage trees” are planted in large numbers, 50 or more, to ensure a diverse genetic stock from which to draw seeds as wild populations dwindle and suffer genetic erosion.
- Study the growth and characteristics of these species in a cultivated setting, identifying trees that show promise for widespread or commercial reforestation. This includes the domestication of wild fruits.
- Research and develop “multi species agro-forestry systems” that provide local subsistence farmers with an economically viable tree based alternative to slash and burn.
Since 2011, Camino Verde has planted over 250 tree species, representing over half of the top thirty timber species from the region. The area of planted trees is 17.5 acres or 7 hectares. It includes 70 different fruit tree species and over 40 ornamental flowering species. For a list of the trees planted, see Camino Verde’s Tree Database at http://www.caminoverde.org/resources/tree-database.It is easy to support Camino Verde’s work at Shamans Market just click on “Make you order Carbon Neutral” in your shopping cart to add a $2.00 donation to your order. Thank you good people of Camino Verde and let your work inspire others to like-minded action.