Couro Vegetal da Amazônia
Couro Vegetal da Amazônia began operating in the Brazilian state of Acre in 1996, in an attempt to improve the livelihood opportunities and wellbeing of Amazonian rubber-tapping communities. This project brought together more than 200 local and indigenous families in three forest communities, providing training in an innovative processing method to produce sheets of vulcanized rubber. This material, made of cotton fabric drenched in natural latex extracted from wild rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis), was sold in fabric sheets to textile corporations and marketed as an alternative to leather.
The enterprise overcame the challenge of falling prices for natural rubber and took advantage of growing market demand for ecologically sound and sustainably produced fashion items. By adding value to the raw latex they harvested, participating communities benefited from higher prices for their rubber, contributing to poverty reduction and community empowerment.
Equator Prize Winner: 2002
Location: Acre, Brazil
Beneficiaries: Over 200 rubber tapping families
Biodiversity: Incentive to protect forest ecosystems
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Equator Prize 2002
Latin America And The Caribbean
Praia de Botafogo, 228,113 - Botafogo
Rio de Janeiro - RJ 22359-900 Brasil
Tel: + 5521 553 2581; 5521 553 2729
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