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Environmental Impact

[column_half] Guayusa is grown in biodiverse agroforestry plots, or chakras. To the untrained eye, these ‘forest gardens’ look like pristine natural rainforest, though to the farmers who cultivate them they are highly managed agricultural plots. Guayusa is grown among other plants and trees because it needs taller vegetation to provide it with shade.   In the Amazon, it is lucrative to cut down trees and sell timber, and to clear the rainforest in order to raise livestock or sow monocrop plantations. Now that RURA pays farmers for guayusa, the farmers have a financial incentive to keep old, native hardwood trees on their land so they can grow guayusa underneath.   Guayusa grows well in biodiverse settings, and farmers frequently plant it interspersed with other cash crops, subsistence crops, and native rainforest species. The forest gardens allow for the maintenance of rainforest ecosystems and provide buffer zones around and corridors between less-disturbed areas, which are important for plant and animal dispersal. [/column_half]