Welcome to SUSTAIN
What We Do
Research for resilient forest landscapes
Brazil nuts as part of a global sustainable food system
SUSTAIN is a research project of ETH Zurich, CIFOR and Bioversity International, and is supported by the World Food System Center. We officially collaborate with the Peruvian organizations IIAP, UNAMAD and PROFONANPE. Our research is aimed at gathering evidence to support sustainable supply chains of Brazil nuts from Peru to Switzerland.
An economically important forest product
The Brazil nut is a giant tropical rainforest tree found in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru. Harvested from the wild, the nutritious nuts are one of the most economically important non-timber forest products in the world. Annual exports of Brazil nuts are valued at tens of millions US dollars, but only a small fraction are sourced ethically through certification.
Harvesting the nuts
An important element of rural livelihoods in the Amazon
Brazil nut harvesting is a crucial part of rural livelihoods across the Amazon region. The same rural communities also depend on timber harvesting from the same forests to keep them above the poverty line. Forest degradation, as a consequence of unplanned intensive timber harvesting, has potentially negative consequences for Brazil nut production, biodiversity conservation, and climate change.
Research that contributes to a global sustainable food system
We focus on the Madre de Dios region of Peru, which contains 26,000 square kilometers of the most biologically diverse, carbon dense, Brazil nut-rich forest in South America.
Our specific research aims are:
Through these endeavors we will provide a novel and powerful contribution to the global sustainable food system.
Who We Are
A multi-disciplinary team.
Merel is our project coordinator based in Peru.
Fidel Chiriboga is our project coordinator based in Peru.
Chris Kettle is Principal Investigator on the project.
Manuel Guariguata is joint Principal Investigator.
Julia is our local coordinator, based in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.
Juan Andres Santalices
Juan is a consultant on Market Development (Fair Business Alliance). When not in Peru, Juan is based in Edinburgh, UK.
Carmenza is an Associated Scientist providing expertise on forest governance and interdisciplinary tools. She is based at ETH, Zürich, Switzerland.
Eriks Arroyo Quispe
Eriks is coordinating several elements of our fieldwork in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.
Flor is coordinating several elements of our fieldwork in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.
Our team of students.
Anna is our intern and expert in business model development.
Gaby is working as an assistent, and has previously written her thesis about Brazil nut tree pollination at as part of her ETH Zürich MSc .
Sara is doing her MSc thesis on Brazil nut pollinator diversity, at the University of Lund.
Alessia is doing her MSc thesis on pollinator augmentation and the effect of degradation on forest structure, at Wageningen University.
Daniel Navarro Pérez
Daniel is doing his BSc thesis on pollinator augmentation and the effect of degradation on forest structure, at UNAMAD.
MSc intern from Wageningen University
MSc thesis student on “Finding best practices of Brazil nut enrichment planting in Peru”, Wageningen University.
Maria Camila Alvarez Romero
MSc thesis on socio-institutional characterisation at ETH Zurich.
MSc thesis on endofitic fungi communities at ETH Zurich.
BSc thesis student on connecting consumers of Brazil nuts to restoration activities in Madre de Dios (Peru), ETH Zurich.
MSc thesis student on "Forest foods as a tool for forest and landscape restoration and an opportunity for diversified food systems in Madre de Dios, Peru" , Wageningen University/ISARA Lyon.
MSc intern from Wageningen University working with mapping and monitoring of forest-enrichment plots of planted Brazil-nut seedlings
MSc thesis student from Wageningen University working on growth responses of Brazil nut tree seedlings to irradiance after enrichment planting
MSc thesis student from Wageningen University working on the effect of soil characteristics and light availability among different types of enrichment sites on the survival and growth rate of Brazil nut seedlings