Is Palo Santo really endangered?

There is currently a lot of concerns in social media about the future of the Palo Santo Bursera Graveolens tree.

Unfortunately, there are several blogs and articles that have been created without a true knowledge of the facts.

At Worldly Aromas we are very concerned with sustainability and making sure the Palo Santo we sell is sustainably sourced. Our Suppliers recently issued a statement which addressed these concerns.

The Palo Santo is commonly known as a native species of the dry-tropical forests of Ecuador. The inhabitants of the surrounding communities live from the trade of Palo Santo. This means that if they do not find clients for it, they will cut it down to use the land for corn, livestock, developments, etc. (For example, La Refineria del Pacifico, where around 1000 hectares of trees, including Palo Santo, were cut down for the development of this "white elephant" which is abandoned).

So contrary to what is currently being portrayed in social media, the real threat to this wood is precisely the lack of use.

Is Palo Santo sustainable?

Our suppliers created an educational project, to involve the communities and to teach them not to cut the trees. A cut tree has no value, since it does not contain the medicinal properties of the Palo Santo, nor does it have aroma.

Our suppliers process only naturally fallen branches and trunks, without cutting down any living trees, damaging the surrounding area or making new paths. There is no harvesting of Palo Santo but recollecting (picking up) of naturally dead Palo Santo.

Facts about our supplier:

1. Annually and for 5 consecutive years they have been reforesting Palo Santo trees in a pilot project of 50 hectares. Moreover, for over 10 years they have been reforesting and donating plants to several institutions.

2. They have involved the national government of Ecuador and are currently waiting for them to declare this 50-hectare area as a "protective forest", to prevent logging, invasions and damages.

3. 4000 Palo Santo trees will be planted and other native species in December 2019.

4. This pilot forest will be open to universities and communities to learn the experience and mirror it in other areas of the dry-tropical forest of Manabi.

As a consumer it is really important to know what you're buying has been sourced sustainably and is having a positive effect on the planet. We will continue to ensure we maintain these values in everything we do.