News From the Cloud Forest

New Community based management plan in the works

Four community based ecotourism organizations have agreed to take on responsibilities for protecting Bosque Protector Los Cedros. Meetings held during the months of July and August with the Imbabura based Ministry of Environment. the President of the Junta Parroquial of Garcia Morneo and local organizations have let to an agreement to move forward with planning to include these new actors in the management of this reserve. Under a new law, planning and management of protected areas are to be co-administered by communities, local government at the parroquial or parish level and the ministry of environment will be brought together to protect declared areas for conservation. All of the organizations involved have received recognition from the government of Ecuador unlike the majority of communities represented in their memberships.

This scientific station still under management of the original team of founders will participate in a guidance role with the help of a specialist team of Ecuadorian professionals from community and scientific backgrounds.

Among the organizations participating at present are:

El Comite de Ecoturismo Comunitario Plurinacional de Manduriacos, long time associates of reserve management with membership from 5 communities including Chontal, Plan de Luisa, Magadalena Alto, Comunidad Mina y San Roque.

Flor de PambilCommunity based ecotourism organization based in Rio Verde and Cielo Verde. Women’s organization.

Hilos de Paraiso Paraiso is a community that borders the reserve where this women’s weaving and vegetable ivory handycrafts organization is branching out into tourism.

Grupo de Mujeres de Magdalena AltoThe only legally recognized community organization in the community of Magdalena Alto that is developing a new urban area for the community.

Planning is going ahead for a joint meeting of all these participants for the first Saturday in October.

During the month of July the Flor de Pambil organization participated in an inspection call for from the Ministry of Environment to remove squatters from the Manduriaco Grande sector of the reserve. It will be part of the responsibility of these organizations to protect the reserve and it is hoped that the management plan that will be developed together will include the building of some kind of structure to be used as a refuge for park guards and tourism in the Rio Verde and Manduriaco Alto sectors.

We also contemplated is the training of members of these organizations as Honorary Wildlife Inspectors and as Native Wilderness Guides supported by the Ministry of Environment.