BIOME 4 – PANTANAL

BRAZILIAN PANTANAL
This distinct biome consists of higher plants, such as trees and shrubs (1,647 species) and high diversity of wildlife: 263 species of fish, 122 species of mammals, 93 species of reptiles, 1,132 species of butterflies and 656 species of birds.

Despite being recognized in 2000 as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, there is infinitely little formally protected area in the Pantanal, particularly in Brazil, where most of the Pantanal is located, the land is about 98 % privately owned.

Although Pantanal is considered one of the most pristine places on Earth its future is not guaranteed. During the last 30 years an immense part of the Pantanal's land has been cleared for agriculture, new roads, and logging. The often and extensive burning in the watershed also accelerates the natural process of erosion and sedimentation.

Modifications of natural cycles of the rivers to build local dams and dikes, by landowners to keep water out of their property, creates new water-flow patterns, increased flooding outside of these areas, and decline in soil fertility.

Habitat destruction, poaching, overfishing, illegal hunting, and the business of capturing threatened and endangered species for pet trading is causing grave concern about loss of biodiversity in the region . Many species that were once found in large numbers are now all listed as endangered or threatened with extinction. In all, at least 50 species are reported to be threatened or endangered in the Brazilian Pantanal.

Caused by mining by-products, agrochemicals, untreated domestic sewage and garbage discharged into the wetlands and rivers, the water pollution is one huge, if not the main, threat to the integrity of the Pantanal.

Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides used in agricultural activities, and washed into the watery environment, are another problem, particularly given that the poor soil has led to the heavy use of agrochemicals.

The conservation of the Pantanal biome also includes one of traditional activities performed by the “Pantaneiro” culture. The Pantaneiro’s knowledge of the biome has helped sustainable economic activity flourish and is instrumental in the conservation of the Pantanal as it was found centuries ago.

Today, most of the Pantanal has been devastated to give rise to modern agricultural high yield crops, dams, hydro-electrics, and industrial cattle cultures. None of them seems to go hand in hand with conservation laws. It is imperative that all decision-makers recognize the importance and urgency of conservation to benefit nature itself, including humans.

For all of the reasons listed above, this is why 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.