Rios Nete is guided by the vision of protecting the Amazon through promoting global understanding of its immense value in tangible ways. This project--a not-for-profit endeavor--seeks to turn the world’s attention to the rainforest’s life-saving plant medicines and the sophisticated medical expertise of its indigenous practitioners. By clinically proving the medical efficacy of these natural and cultural resources, we seek to heighten global concern for the destruction of this irreplaceable ecosystem.
The Rios Nete Research and Healing Center has been made possible by a close partnership with the Runa Foundation, the non-profit arm of the Runa tea company, which works with smallholder farmers in the Amazon to harness environmentally-friendly agricultural practices that create and support sustainable livelihoods.
The Runa Foundation seeks to create value for the rainforest in a way that supports local people and protects the forest itself. A key pillar of the Foundation's work in Ecuador is supporting and promoting the "chacra" -- biodiverse plots that include a wide variety of trees and plants -- in which economically valuable plants may be grown and harvested.
The Foundation is expanding into Peru in order to articulate and promote the value of native Amazonian plant species, with an emphasis on the medicinal plants indigenous communities have employed for centuries. The Center itself will be a model for permaculture and "forest gardens," demonstrating tangible ways to obtain value from the rainforest without degrading land.