Protecting the Tropical Andes
Andean cloud forests
are the world's number one biodiversity priority
The endangered Andean cloud forests are the world’s
number one biodiversity priority, and are one of NCI's main focus
areas. These forests protect a wealth of endangered species, with
an abundance of orchids, hummingbirds, tanagers and charismatic
mammals such as the Montane Tapir and Spectacled Bear. NCI works
to conserve these areas by buying lands, helping communities to
establish community nature reserves, and by working with governments
to establish parks and protected areas.
of our greatest successes in this regard has been to work with government
and local communities to achieve the declaration of the Podocarpus-Condor
Biosphere Reserve, to protect and promote the sustainable development
of 2.8 million acres of Andean tropical forests in southern
Ecuador. This area of montane and cloud forest is one of the areas
of greatest plant diversity in the world.
NCI also works with the indigenous Shuar communities
to establish ancestral homelands and protect excellent cloud forests.
In Ecuador, we have established the Yacuambi
Shuar Community Reserve of 37,000 acres with the Kiim, Kurints
and Washikiat communities. We are working with other Shuar communities
to extend these areas over another 60,000 acres of Upper Amazonian
forests. Our work with two farming communities near the Colambo-Yacuri
Protective Forest has led them to establish the Angashcola
Community Reserve, protecting 3,500 acres of their cloud forests.
is actively buying land to conserve the extraordinarily biodiverse
cloud forests around the Podocarpus National Park in Ecuador. We
have bought and manage over 6,000 acres at sites in the Numbala
Valley, El Tiro and the San
Francisco Scientific Station, and funds are urgently needed
to extend these habitat purchase programs.
To further protect habitat in this area,
NCI works with government at the national, state and municipal levels.
NCI’s efforts with
municipalities have designated over 20,000 acres as forest reserves
over the watersheds that provide cities and towns with potable water.
In Northwestern Peru, NCI is
working with state governments to designate and protect critical
sites for rare and endangered species, including the cloud forests
at Cuyas and Aypate.