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Ecuador - Saving Andean, Amazonian, and Dry Forest Ecosystems in one of the world's biodiversity priorities


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Conservation and Sustainable Development at the La Ceiba Reserve

Protecting 25,000 acres of threatened tropical dry forest

NCI’s La Ceiba Natural Reserve protects 25,000 acres of threatened tropical dry forest in southwestern Ecuador, and is the core area of the La Ceiba Conservation and Development Area (CDA). Within the CDA, NCI respects the customs and traditions of the local communities and works closely with the local people to promote sustainable forms of development within the region. This methodology ensures the economic well-being of local community members while simultaneously protecting the ecosystem.

The CDA includes 17 communities and 370 families (approximately 1,660 people), the majority of whom subsist on goat and cattle raising, and growing seasonal corn. The region includes 31 species of birds found only in this area (11 threatened by extinction), 20 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 56 species of trees, some of which are used for construction such as the guayacán and hualtaco.

Within La Ceiba, we are currently working with local communities on a wide range of sustainable projects including honey production by native bees, production of several goat’s milk cheeses and yogurts, and the creation of an internationally-marketed perfume from the fruit of the Palo Santo tree. We are also conducting a basic needs assessment that includes a nutrition program for children under the age of six. Through alliances with government institutions the program has benefited over 300 children and has reduced malnutrition from 23% to 3%. The construction of an environmental education and visitor’s center within the reserve is currently planned as well.


Learn more about our work in the Tumbesian Dry Forests of Ecuador:




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