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Press Relases Jan. 13, 2006

Aveda and Conservation International Expand Partnership

Protection of rain forest and support of small farmers in Peru top priority

WASHINGTON, DC—In an effort to protect the rainforest and provide income for local populations, Aveda and Conservation International (CI) announced that they have renewed their partnership. Together, both organizations will continue working to create beauty products made from natural ingredients and expand sustainable agricultural enterprises that focus on biodiversity conservation within the Vilcabamba–Amboró corridor in Peru.

The renewed partnership, which provides economic development and environmental conservation in order to protect the Amazon rainforest, focuses on three activities: expanding and strengthening local industries by creating demand for Brazil nut-based materials, developing new markets for tropical oils and nectars, and creating markets for indigenous crafts.

“We’re excited about renewing our partnership with CI,” says Mary Tkach, executive director, environmental sustainability for Aveda. “Together, we are helping to strengthen local enterprises as well as contribute to the conservation of one of the world’s most biodiverse regions.”

The Brazil nut collection is a major component of the partnership. Currently, Aveda uses the Brazil nut by-product known as Morikue. When the Brazil nut is pressed into oil, it produces a by-product called a meal, which is a rich protein. This meal is then transformed into a soluble protein called Morikue which Aveda uses as a strengthening agent in a number of hair care products, including: Curessence Conditioner, Curessence Shampoo, Shampure Shampoo, Shampure Conditioner, Styling Curessence, Firmata Gel and Firmata Spray.

“Brazil nut collection and processing are vital economic activities that directly affect biodiversity conservation and natural resource management,” states Juliette Crepin, marketing advisor, forest products, Conservation International. “And by-products from Brazil nuts, such as Morikue, provide a source of income for local people while protecting the ecosystems where the trees grow.”

Every year from January to March, the Brazil nut is harvested. The Brazil nut tree, which is found in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia, is one of the tallest and oldest in the Amazon region—living for 300-to-500 years and growing as high as 150 feet. Mature trees can produce between 300-to-400 nuts per year. Yet each year, the Amazon rainforest loses hundreds of acres of land due to logging, which not only threatens Brazil nut trees, but biodiversity within the region. The trees that produce the nut cannot be cultivated commercially and must be grown in a tropical rainforest environment. By harvesting the nuts from the wild, it aids in forest conservation as well as creates economic opportunities for local populations. Approximately 1,000 families in the region depend on the income from harvesting the nuts.

In addition to Brazil nut harvesting, Aveda and CI also will expand the scope of their work into two additional areas—oils and nectars and local crafts.

CI will provide technical assistance to enhance other conservation enterprises that focus on palm tropical oils and nectars derived from, for example, the ungurahui. Ungurahui oil comes from the palm plant found in the Amazon region. Once sufficient production of these oils occurs, Aveda plans to use the ingredients in some of their products. In addition, the partnership will support local women by fostering entrepreneurship, building management skills and assisting them in finding a market for their goods and crafts.

The Vilcabamba–Amboró conservation corridor is located in the Peruvian Amazon—a region classified by CI as a high biodiversity wilderness area due to its numerous endemic plant species and animals. To qualify as a wilderness area, the region must have 70 percent or more of its original vegetation intact—covering at least 10,000 square kilometers (3,861 square miles), and fewer than five people per square kilometer.

CI has partnered with Aveda since 1997—helping to strengthen communities that depend on the Brazil nut.

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Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI,

Aveda™ The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™ is the embodiment of a long-standing vision of Horst Rechelbacher who founded the company in 1978 in Minneapolis, MN. Today the company develops and manufactures plant-based hair care, skin care, makeup, Pure-Fume™ and lifestyle products—sold in over 8,000 salons, spas and Environmental Lifestyle Stores worldwide—that proudly uphold the Aveda mission: “Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for environmental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world.” For more information about Aveda,

Julian Teixeria


Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business (CELB) provides a new forum for collaboration between the private sector and the environmental community. Created in partnership with Conservation International (CI) and the Ford Motor Company, CELB operates as a division of CI and is governed by a distinct executive board of leaders from the business and environmental communities-engaging the private sector worldwide in creating solutions to critical global environmental problems in which industry plays a defining role. For further information about CELB, please visit


Katrin Olson
[email protected]

 Photo credits for banner image: (Zebras in Botswana) © CI, Chris Brooks