San Miguel Eco Project12-27 Juan Leon Mera Calama
|Contact person:||Freedman, David|
- Aid for developing countries
- Environmental organization
- Environmental project
The ‘San Miguel Eco Project’ is owned and managed by the people of San Miguel; a small afro-Ecuadorian community situated at the confluence of the Rio Cayapas and Rio San Miguel. The project offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of local people and to visit the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, an area of protected rainforest which forms part of a global bio-diversity hotspot. As well as providing sustainable employment for local people, income from the project is used to fund community initiatives and to protect the local environment.
Covering over 200.000 hectares and featuring 10 distinct ecological zones, the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve is one of the most diverse and spectacular of Ecuador’s protected areas. Featuring altitudes ranging from 30m to 4939m the reserve is home to an incredible range of plants and animals including over 2000 identified plant species and more than 500 different bird species. The reserve is particularly important because it safeguards one of the few remaining examples of Ecuador’s coastal rainforest, a much threatened ecosystem which forms part of the Choco; an internationally recognised bio-region which extends from Southern Panama to Northern Peru and has been rated as a global bio-diversity hotspot.
Unfortunately despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of the reserve it has been threatened by illegal colonisation, poaching, logging and mining, all of which have proved difficult to control. Thankfully because of its isolation and the difficulty of access the reserve remains one of the best preserved of Ecuador’s protected areas.
The project has four key aims:
- to develop tourism as a non destructive source of income for local people,
- to improve educational opportunities and support community development,
- to increase the study and awareness of the rainforests of Western Ecuador,
- to provide a model of sustainable development for other communities in the region.
For other net participants we can offer expert guidance through trained staff, give an expert opinion, deliver a lecture, procure expert information and establish new contacts in the fields of our work. We are open to any possibility of mutually benificial collaborations.