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Nature & Culture International is dedicated to the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. We act locally to protect highly biodiverse and threatened ecosystems through concrete actions with local staff.

Success Stories

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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.

One 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.

NCI 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.

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