Awacachi Corridor, Ecuador - Project Update October 2008
The Awacachi Corridor, in the north west of Ecuador, is a genuinely unique landscape at real threat of destruction by palm oil cultivation and logging activities. Your sponsorship is working at the front-line of deforestation to ensure its sustainability. Cool Earth is supporting local partners to secure unique rainforests and invest in sustainable livelihoods projects on the ground which value forest conservation.
We have to accept that unsustainable forest use can provide incomes for local people. For long-term conservation to work, it has to secure local livelihoods and improve wellbeing. On all its projects Cool Earth is working with partners to develop and/or support sustainable livelihoods. In the Awacachi Corridor this means supporting
- native bamboo production,
- cacao growing and
- handicraft training
These are activities that encourage rainforest protection and reduce pressure on resources in pristine forest. Working with local communities generates genuine support for conservation efforts.
During February to August of 2008, the following achievements have been made possible with your financial support:
- A further 4.5 hectares of guadua (native bamboo) have been planted in degraded areas surrounding the Awacachi Corridor. Only harvesting a portion of the bamboo helps regenerate forest cover by improving soils and water regulation. Increasing the amount of guadua planted also increases the number of families benefiting from this type of alternative income generation (each .5 ha benefits 1 family).
- A further 4 hectares of cacao has been planted. The second harvest of cacao benefited 40 families by producing a yield 9,000kg, sold commercially at 2USD per kg. This was the first time the cacao could be sold commercially and from now on every harvest will produce similar yields, allowing families to have a consistent income. Other community members have asked to participate in the cacao programme. Your support will continue to contribute to this ongoing activity, reducing pressure on intact forest by giving people ways to earn income other than by cutting down the forest.
- The nurseries close to the communities of San Fransisco and Durango now have 300 native bamboo seedlings and 500 cacao seedlings that are ready to be transferred to the various plantations.
The Awacachi Corridor uses a system of community rangers to monitor and report illegal activities, support biological monitoring of key animal species and foster positive community relationships.. As well as helping to pay rangers' salaries, your donation have bought uniforms and equipment for them, which reinforces their identity and value, and improves their efficiency in the field.