We have developed various initiatives related to the management of natural resources and environmental education with both rural and urban populations. They are predicted to continue for some years.
Andean Paramos Project
Giving continuity to actions launched in the county of Pedro Moncayo for the management of the micro valleys of Cerro Mojanda, a project has been formulated that forms a part of a larger program for the management of the paramos in 3 countries ( Ecuador , Peru and Bolivia ). Mojanda was chosen as one of the five sites considered within Ecuador to implement the management project. (Paramo is the word for high moorland and in Ecuador relates to areas above 3300 metres above sea level that are the principal fresh water sources for the country).
The term for the project is estimated for the next five years, and is due to start in the first half of 2006.
We install tubular biogas units in agroecological farms, with the help of a small project co-financed by PPD (Programa De Pequeños Donaciones) through the United Nations.
Purpose: - To replace the use of liquid gas and fire wood for domestic cooking and to contribute to the conservation of forests and the recycling of products within the farm.
Successes: - We have installed biogas units in the farms of families from 14 distinct communities in the zone of Intag. For the ease of management and their complementary nature to the productive activities of the farm the biogas units are being increasingly desired by farming families.
We support the management of various seed sources with the goal of improving the production and quality of native forestry plants produced in local community tree nurseries, such as the Foundation nursery at hacienda Picalquí. This initiative is aided through the FOSEFOR program.
Purpose: - To enhance resources of native forests, to reduce felling, generate new sources of income for farming families with forest ownership and to favour the forestation of native species.
Successes: - There are now 6 seed sources under management in Intag, five with native species and one exotic (non-damaging). The tree nurseries belonging to associations within farming communities, as well as others, are now partially supplied by seeds from these sources.
Environmental Education and Organic Agriculture in Rural Schools
We worked with educational centres belonging to Fe y Alegria (a Catholic organization that provides education in economically disadvantaged sectors), developing a model that associates environmental education with the creation of small productive agroecological projects.
Purpose: - to drive small productive agroecological projects to improve the nutrition of student meals; to contribute to the integral formation of the children linking theoretical and practical learning with a commitment from the children and their parents towards environmental conservation; to favor the instruction of teachers and parents in environmental education and the conservation of natural resources.
Successes: - The project involved four rural schools in the province of Pichincha , and included the installation of small productive units such as organic vegetable gardens and guinea pig breeding houses. The teachers and parents have greater understanding and knowledge of the environment with an improvement of natural resource management at a community level and the children's knowledge has also been strengthened in these subjects.
In April 2006 a similar project will be launched with no fewer than six rural schools in the Pichincha.