Puntos Verdes del Ecuador
The Green Areas of Ecuador

Protection of the remaining mountain rainforests in the western Andes in Ecuador

Context

The extremely species-rich rainforests are threatened world-wide in their existence. Therefore purposeful measures for nature protection are necessary. However "so-called" developing countries, e.g. many states of South America, do not have the financial means, in order to accomplish long-term measures for the protection of the rainforests. Here global financial responsibility lies with industrial nations. The species-rich mountain forests of the western Andes of Ecuador are already approximately 90 % destroyed. Through excessive use (cattle raising, agriculture, and lumbering) the area is severely degraded and eroded. The impoverished population emigrates into other areas or further clears the forested lands.

Project aim

The "Fundación Ecológica para la Protección de los Puntos Verdes del Ecuador" (Ecological Foundation for the Protection of the Greens Areas of Ecuador), or in short called Fundación Puntos Verdes, is a small, non-for-profit nature protection organisation, which protects the remaining relict forests, reforests degraded areas and thus improves the living conditions of the local population. Dr. Heike Brieschke de Peñafiel (Biologist from Bonn, Germany) and Pedro Peñafiel (Ecuadorian carpenter and environmental protectionist) carry out the chief work at the basis in Ecuador. Puntos Verdes has its seat in the country (approximately 90 km north-west from Quito in the north-western province Pichincha). Therefore better contact exists to the target groups, the farmers, their families, schools and the rural administrative authorities. Pedro and Heike, operate even a small farm (the Finca Mindo Lindo) and a nursery garden. This Finca, which is managed according to ecological sustainable methods, serves as model for other farmers. Farmers and their families are effectively advised through practical hands-on experience. In order to be able to reach more people, an ecological-cultural centre (Centro Cultural Ecológica) was built, where interested guests can be accommodated or conferences and courses can be held.In Germany, the Institute for Biodiversity (ibn) supports the work of Puntos Verdes with funding, lectures, workshops, exhibitions, fundraising, internet contributions and publications in order to promote the understanding of ecological issues and to increase global environmental responsibility.

View over the ecuadorian rainforest
(photo Heike Brieschke)