Development of Fruit Forests in the Amazon Rainforest

Living Labs

Development of Fruit Forests in the Amazon Rainforest

This multi-year community-based project aims to involve traditional populations of protected reserves in the creation of fruit forests.

Project launch: 2019
Location: State of Rondônia, Brazilian Amazon
Objectives: Fighting against deforestation, restoration of degraded ecosystems, biodiversity conservation, economic development of indigenous populations
Key activities: 1 million trees planted of 34 different species / Training and capacity building
Main species planted: Main species planted: Acai (Euterpe oleracea), Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) and Amazon walnut tree (Bertholletia excelsa), Roucouyer (Bixa Orellana), Andiroba (Carapa guianensis), Peach palm (Bactris gasipaes), Courbaril (Hymenaea courbaril)
Partners: Local communities, Reforest’Action, Rioterra


The Amazon rainforest, one of the three largest primary forests in the world, is also one of the most impacted by deforestation, with 4 million trees disappearing each year. Industrial agriculture generates two-thirds of deforestation in South America. For example, Brazil, the world’s largest soybean producer, has converted 18% of its forest ecosystems since 1970 – through clearcuts and fires – into livestock farming, soybeans crops and oil palm plantations.

This Living Lab is located in the State of Rondônia, in the southwest of the Brazilian Amazon, which is part of the “deforestation arc” formed by vast territories where the agricultural frontier and deforestation have greatly increased in recent decades.


  • Action on the ground
    This Living Lab is a community-based project, which aims to involve traditional populations of protected reserves in the creation of fruit forests by guaranteeing them access to these resources. Reforestation combines a wide variety of species which are selected according to the climate and soil conditions of the area and the needs of the local populations.
  • Establishing fruit forests
    This highly innovative Living Lab is carried out within extractive reserves, on plots of land that have historically been deforested to establish conventional pastures, to the cost of local and traditional populations. These heavily degraded pastures will be reforested with the support of SEDAM, a federal and sovereign organization over its own territory, which will ensure the proper conduct of the project alongside Rioterra.
    The fruit forests thus created will be returned to the traditional populations, who have lived for generations in these reserves. All planted species are chosen in line with the needs of local communities: Acai produces berries with highly nutritious qualities; Cupuaçu produces a vegetable butter appreciated for its soothing and restorative virtues; Roucouyer and Andiroba are known for their medicinal properties; the Peach palm and the Amazonian walnut tree produce fruits and nuts which are consumed by local communities; and Courbaril will ultimately be used to produce quality wood.
  • Plantation areas
    Trees are planted within multiple extractive reserves (Rio Preto Jacundá, Aquariquara, Jatobá, Castanheira, Angelim, Mogno and Sucupira) in the state of Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon. Planting areas are likely to change based on each planting season, depending on the needs of local communities and the development of the project.
  • Integrating and training local communities
    The Living Lab aims to offer educational sessions, so that local and traditional populations can be made aware of the importance of preserving planted trees in the long term, and can achieve autonomous development that respects their environment.

Expected impacts

The project directly contributes to the achievement of 13 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a roadmap to a better and more sustainable future.