Fighting against deforestation in the Amazon with the Kichwa people
Duration of the partnership
The rate of Amazonian deforestation in Ecuador is among the highest in South America. The rate in Napo province, which straddles the Andes and the Amazon, exceeds the national average mainly because of demographic and land pressure and overexploitation of certain tree species that have high economic value.
Faced with the degradation of the forest environment, agricultural land and the living conditions of local populations, the Ishpingo association sought to help the indigenous Kichwa communities in the buffer zone of Llanganates and Colonso to manage their forest resources more sustainably by setting up agro-foresty models.
With the launch of the project in 2010, a 4ha experimental and demonstration farm has been introduced and 4 associations of fruit producers, comprising 112 farmers, have been set up. The first processing trials (making jam, pulp and essential oils) began in 2017 with a view to selling them on a fair trade basis in the twin aims of increasing the communities’ income and helping to stop predatory activities (the sale of wood and coal).
The Maisons du Monde Foundation supports Ishpingo with the implementation of agro-forestry models to regenerate forest resources in buffer zones by developing a plantation of 20,000 softwood lumber and 30,000 fruit trees over a 3-year period. Throughout the project beneficiaries will be trained in productive and organic agriculture. In addition, awareness-raising activities about the importance of reforestation will be run in 9 schools.
Lastly, the Maisons du Monde Foundation will help Ishpingo reach a new level by expanding into the fair trade production and sale of processed products made from fruit grown in reforested land.
The direct beneficiaries of the project are the 112 Kichwa farmers who are members of one of the 4 producer associations and the 90 additional farmers involved in the project.
Other beneficiaries include the 250 children taught in schools about environmental issues that concern them directly.
Beneficiaries families (about 1,500) people are also affected. Lastly, the buyers and consumers of the organic products sold by Ishpingo, which come straight from beneficiary farms, also benefit from the project.
Ishpingo offers appropriate solutions, involving local populations, to local environmental and socio-economic problems.
Ishpingo applies its 12 years of experience in the field and has a team permanently on-site and dedicated to the project, ensuring it is managed closely with the participating communities.
The project is run on a “for and by the beneficiaries” basis, allowing for the transfer of skills. The goal is to equip beneficiaries with know-how and build their capacities to safeguard their autonomy and ensure the sustainability of the project.
Ishpingo is a French and Ecuadorian association established in 2005 with the aim of preserving natural resources while improving the living conditions of local indigenous populations.
Ishpingo works in 4 sectors or parishes (Talag, Pano, Misahualli and Atacapi) in the province of Napo and around the town of Tena with indigenous Kichwa communities for help them implement ways of suing natural resources rationally.
The agro-forestry reforestation project has already achieved the following results:
- 50 community-run tree nurseries
- 250,000 trees planted
- 500 beneficiary families
The association has also set up an experimental and demonstration farm, created a botanical garden in a high school, published two reforestation and fruit tree management and, lastly, helped form 4 fruit-producer associations.