With the support of our Dow Impact Fund, we recently launched Project Ybá. Dow owns a total of 45,000 hectares of land near Breu Branco, 80% of which is preserved native rainforest. The land is home to an estimated 470 species of animals and plants, 37 of which are endangered. To create a business model that encourages the preservation of the rainforest, Project Ybá seeks to map the biodiversity of the forestland for bioactive ingredients – such as seeds and fruits – and develop a local cooperative that will harvest and sell them.
“This project seeks to combine environmental, social and business benefits,” said Eric Peeters, vice president for Sustainability, Performance Materials & Coatings at Dow. “For the environment, we want to protect biodiversity and demonstrate how preserving the forest brings more value than deforestation. Socially, we hope the project contributes to local economic diversity and growth. From a business perspective, the project is a unique opportunity for joint development with customers.”