Palm trees are one of a few species of tree that have adapted to harsh living conditions, thus they provide a unique habitat and shelter for countless varieties of wildlife. Additionally, their presence on a shoreline for example, can help reduce erosion, as their roots help stabilize the sand.
Palms produce fruits that are often eaten by local people. This a means of providing food without agriculture that may only be possible by cutting part of the forest to establish a plot.
Some indigenous people in Latin America use palms to make hats, bags, and other products, which they sell. Palms grow quickly and the people do not kill the whole plant to harvest what they need for their craft (generally). This is a sustainable means to make money for the impoverished people. This is environmentally friendly as it does not lead to the distruction of the forest, killing of native animals for food, or for the people to work in other destructive jobs like timber extraction and mining.
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