How an obscure seed is helping to save the elephant

these aren't any old seeds, they are instead rather special ones from South America called tagua. They are the off-white coloured seeds of six species of palm trees. They can reach up to 9cm (3.5 inches) in length and when dried become very hard indeed. So hard in fact that they are also known as "vegetable ivory".
And like ivory, tagua can be polished and carved, and turned into ornate carvings or jewellery.
From his base in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, Mr Heerma van Voss's company Naya Nayon has been exporting tagua for 16 years, and he says that sales are booming.

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