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NCI Private Reserve Will Help Solve Land Tenure Conflicts within Podocarpus National Park March 2010
The land exchange program will prevent further habitat degradation in Podocarpus National Park
NCI, the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment, and local farmers are working together to solve land tenure conflicts within Podocarpus National Park, a protected area with the highest levels of endemism in Ecuador. Small farmers who currently maintain pastures within the park’s boundaries are being encouraged to exchange these properties for land NCI has purchased outside the park, which includes areas of pasture. This would effectively transfer control of the farmers’ current pastureland into the hands of the Ministry of the Environment, who would allow the land to naturally regenerate over time. The NCI land would be given to the farmers free of charge, and is of better quality and closer to the road than their current properties. This exchange would not only respect the rights of farmers and help to increase their productivity, but would also prevent further habitat degradation with the boundaries of the Podocarpus National Park. Because the current pastures are located five hours walking distance from the nearest road, this land exchange proposal has been met with exceptionally favorable approval by the farmers, and the exchange should be finalized within the next several months.