The capacity of the private sector, when empowered with incentives to develop and execute business models or partnerships which ultimately improve sustainability and contribute to a better environmental bottom line, can be a positive force for tropical forest conservation – including here in the Peruvian Amazon. Green businesses are those that focus on environmentally friendly (green) activities that ensure all processes, products, and manufacturing adequately address current environmental and social concerns while maintaining a profit. Such businesses can be just as economically profitable in the long term (if not more so) as compared to environmentally- or socially-destructive businesses located in the same ecosystem, but they often require external assistance early in their development in the form of special funding and focused mentoring in order to overcome early barriers as they access and grow what are frequently new or niche markets.
In Fauna Forever, we are focused on identifying existing green businesses that require assistance to scale up their positive impacts; entrepreneurs with green business ideas that want to explore the potential that their ideas may have to generate social and environmental good; and also those arguably environmentally-destructive businesses that have expressed an interest and have the potential to embrace change and set themselves on a less destructive path and become standard bearers for others in their industry to follow. The types of sectors and product groups we are looking into include: Brazil nuts, horticulture, agroforestry, coffee, cacao, wild honey, tropical timber, bamboo, medicinal plants, as well as art and artisan products.