May 7, 2010 | This March, Nature and Culture International signed an agreement with Brazilian cosmetics company Natura to support the southwestern Ecuador communities of Malvas, Chaquiro, Totumos and Limones in the management of approximately 7,500 acres of threatened dry forest in Zapotillo County. The resources provided by Natura will help the local community to define the boundaries of the areas to be declared a reserve, in addition to assisting in the creation of a set of regulations for the use of the space and its resources.
Nature and Culture International, Natura, and local communities will also develop a shared management system for the reserve. We have been working with Natura in this region for three consecutive years as part of a sustainable development project in which community members harvest the fruit of the Palo Santo tree and Natura then converts the essential oils into an internationally marketed perfume – Amor America. This new initiative will complement microcredit, education, and other development activities already taking place in the area.