BRAZILIAN CERRADO BIOME
Due to its geographical location, the Cerrado serves as a link to other Brazilian biomes: the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest, the Pantanal and the Caatinga. Many consider the Cerrado to be the savanna with the richest biodiversity on the planet with approximately 2500 species of identified vertebrates, more than 10,000 identified plant species, and countless insects which have not been sufficiently studied, despite their fundamental role in ecology. To date, more than 65 species from the Cerrado are on the list of threatened species (i.e. Buriti, ingá, macauba, cagaita, guariroba, pequi, breast-bitch, kapok, mimosa, Jatoba, ema cinnamon, ipe). These are just some of the best known native plants of the Cerrado, but the region is lavish and teeming with life.
Approximately 4,400 of these species are endemic, or exist only in this region. Many of them serve as the basis for human consumption, including the pequi, baru, cagaita, jatobá and many others. Many medications such as the canopy, the lobeira, the doll, the barbatimão and a multitude of other plants are used ancestrally by the populations of the Cerrado.
Palm trees are abundant in the biome. The species of Babassu, brejaúba, Buriti, guariroba, jussara and macaúba are well known. All carry indigenous names and have great value in the life of rural and traditional communities in the Cerrado.
In addition to its utility, the Cerrado vegetation is also of great beauty. The image of a yellow flower Ipe during the dry season is of rare beauty. It is an explosion of color that fascinates even those who are already used to seeing these magnificent trees at the height of flowering in the dry season. There are other trees of rare beauty, such as bellies, that resemble the baobabs on the African savannah, the “quaresmeiras”, and several palm trees that add beauty to the area and make it the backdrop to the most beautiful postcards of Brazil.
According to the Conservation International, in recent decades the Cerrado has lost almost half of its forest cover. If nothing is done to prevent deforestation future generations will not know the richest savanna in biodiversity.
It is know that the best and most effective way to preserve the natural biomes is to sustainably making use of non-timber forest resources. This generates alternative income to local small farmers, making them guardians of the forests they depend on for a living.
The knowledge held by the local communities associated with the use and application of medicinal plants in the Cerrado also constitutes a cultural heritage of great importance which will be gone forever if deforestation continues.
We at BioBrazil Botanicals work closely with local government and Ambiental Organizations as well as partner with small farmers and cooperatives of gatherers to make use of sustainably harvested non-timber forest resources in a way to prevent the complete degradation of the Brazilian Cerrado.
The botanical species we use as raw material to manufacture ingredients for the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries are wild-harvested (sustainably) and fairly traded from small cooperatives and farmers in a way so as to encourage them to stay on the Cerrado and help to protect the place they need in order to survive.