A successful exchange programme has brought together rangers from five conservation organisations in Ecuador, including all four of World Land Trust’s (WLT) Ecuadorian project partners.
Funded by IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands (IUCN NL), the programme enabled rangers to exchange information and learn new skills.
During 10 days in August the rangers visited reserves including Fundación Pro-Bosque’s Cerro Blanco Protected Forest, Fundación Jocotoco’s Buenaventura Reserve and La Ceiba and Laipuna Reserves, both owned and managed by Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional (NCI).
During the trip to Cerro Blanco the group tried out practical measures to prevent forest fires – by building a firebreak – and visited the reserve’s tree nursery.
On the visit to Buenaventura the focus was bird tourism. Jocotoco staff discussed ongoing research into the El Oro Parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi), the symbol of the reserve, and other species in the reserve including the Long-wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger).
At La Ceiba, the group visited a sustainable agriculture project supported by NCI. Within the reserve, there are some 7,400 acres (3,000 hectares) of Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) trees. The oil bearing fruit is sustainably harvested by local people, and then used in cosmetic products manufactured in Brazil. Sales of the oil not only provide income for communities, but also create an incentive for local people to look after the forest and the Palo Santo trees.
(Marc Hoogeslag, IUCN NL)
Other sessions in La Ceiba included a demonstration of GPS (Global Positioning System), sessions on the theory and safe practice of tree climbing, and a demonstration of ways to manage and monitor tree nursery saplings.
After the event, Marc Hoogeslag of IUCN NL said: “We are very pleased with the Ecuadorian exchange visit, which provided an excellent opportunity for rangers to share experiences and create a knowledge network that others can build on.”
The event took place 4-13 August 2013. The five participating organisations were Fundación Jocotoco, Fundación Pro-Bosque, Fundación Ecominga, Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional, Fundación Third Millennium Alliance.
Of the 10 rangers who participated in the event, two are funded by WLT’s Keepers of the Wild programme: Perfecto Yagual from Fundación Pro-Bosque and Jesus Recalde from Fundación Ecominga. Through the Keepers of the Wild programme, WLT funds rangers to help keep reserves safe.
More about WLT’s support for conservation in the Ecuador rainforests »