The beauty of the Amazon rainforest is indescribable. It is impossible to capture in photos or to describe in words as it explodes with life. You have to totally immerse yourself in it to be carried away by this permanent bubbling of life, colors, scents and pure sensations.
These tropical forests have evolved over millions of years into the incredible complex environment that they are today. They have become a receptacle of life, the lung of the earth and an incredibly rich ecosystem of living things of all kinds, animals, plants, insects and other living organisms that live, regenerate and evolve constantly.
There is something special about the plants that grow in the Amazon and other rainforests around the world. The richness of the Amazon is unparalleled. One hectare (2.47 acres) of Amazon rainforest land can contain more than 750 types of trees and 1,500 species of higher plants. Unfortunately, this biodiversity also includes an equally incredible number of bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and insects that the plants and people of the rainforest must fight against.
To survive in this unique environment, rainforest plants create powerful and complex chemical defense mechanisms against these pathogens and pest species. Many scientists are currently studying these defensive plant chemicals for their antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, and anticancer actions in their search for new drugs. It's no wonder that the National Cancer Institute in the United States has identified 3,000 plants that are active against cancer cells and that 70% of these plants are found in the rainforest. These rainforest plants are powerhouses of active and beneficial plant chemicals and can be made into effective herbal remedies. They are the true wealth of the rainforest and they can be the pharmacy of the world.
The inhabitants of the rainforest, led by shamans, healers and herbalists, have learned over thousands of years to harness the power of these rainforest plants to protect themselves from the same harmful pathogens and treat other common illnesses. These plants were their only pharmacy in the remote jungles of the Amazon. Their knowledge is irreplaceable.
Unfortunately, it has taken humans less than a century to overcome these balances. In 30 years the world population has grown by more than 30%, the consumption of goods and food has also followed. In the 1950s, 15% of the earth's land surface was covered by tropical forests, today half of that has disappeared.
Today, the Amazon rainforest in particular, and tropical forests in general, are suffering from a massive deforestation movement. This movement is due to several factors, mainly the transformation of forests into land for the production of cattle, soybeans for beef consumption, for mining prospecting, hydraulic projects, etc.
With this disappearance, we are losing an ecosystem rich in millions of species. We now estimate that we lose around 137 species of animals, plants or micro-organisms every day!
In every area of rainforest on earth, we find indigenous people who have learned to live in harmony with this ecosystem, and who have empirically developed a science of using plants for therapeutic purposes. This knowledge is immense and extremely useful.
The pharmaceutical industry has been looking into the subject for years and huge investments have been made. Scientists and ethnologists from all sides are now investing in these forests to study them, to discover new molecules to be synthesized in laboratories. These discoveries are currently saving lives and that is great, but it is not enough. Why ? simply because the overall approach has been to collect the information acquired over millennia by these men and women healers, but the wealth has not been shared with these populations, and little is currently being done to save these forests.
Today we estimate that half of the population in the Amazon has disappeared, most plant connoisseurs are old, and this knowledge is in danger of being lost with their demise.
So, to an economic problem, we try to answer with an economic solution. At present, the use of a hectare of forest land for cattle exploitation brings in 30 $, the exploitation of wood for the same area, therefore cutting trees, brings in 200 $, with a recovery cycle estimated at 30 years if it is. A third alternative exists, the sustainable exploitation of the same area for medicinal and cosmetic purposes would bring in $ 1,200 per year.
Using this land in an ecological way involves appealing to local populations who are very familiar with the cycle of plant renewal, the methods of collection and when and how to use them.
At Les Jardins de Jaina, our vocation is to appeal to these populations for the collection in a respectful manner of nature of raw materials and molecules to take care of the skin. Today for cosmetic purposes, but tomorrow ... and above all, to remunerate these populations in an equitable manner so that the wealth is properly shared.
This collection is done in a short circuit, with limited quantities in order to solicit nature only for what it is able to provide by regenerating itself without endangering it.
It is up to us to set up the necessary circuits, to finance the purchase of deforested plots and their rehabilitation, it is up to us to guarantee a decent income allowing the populations of the Amazon to be maintained in their living environment if they wish, to continue to live in harmony with nature if they wish.
We start small, but we think big. So in the long term, we will be able to tell you for each bottle which village exactly each raw material comes from, what parcel of forest has been saved thanks to your purchase.
And it is in these terms that this approach appears ecological to us, because the use of these precious molecules, of these plants from the other side of the planet would allow us to finance their preservation.
One more thing: we believe this logic is valid everywhere and we are committed to working with small producers from different regions, including and especially from France. They also are close to their land, know how to draw only what is necessary, take care of local biodiversity. They will be remunerated fairly for their work and their know-how.
So this is the genesis of les Jardins de Jaïna, nos it’s time to take action ....