News From the Cloud Forest

Going Up, Expences and Prices/Government Intervention

Well it had to happen someday.  The expences of running the volunteer program and for short stays have been on a long rise.   From wages to food prices it is necessary to adjust the price scale.   I know most people seem to enjoy the food around here and by raising our prices we can continue to provide the quality people deserve.   So forgive the inevitable.

The reserver itself has been involved in a UN-PNUD project aimed, with a major contribution from the National Parks administration, at changing the administrative structure of this protected area.   A comunity based Comanagement Plan has been developed during the last two years.

I would like to say that we are about to bring about this change but things have gotten wierd.  The executive branch of the Ecuadorian government has interviened in the process prohibiting any new comunity organizations especially since this organization would be about conservation.  For some reasons dificult to define here the actually national administration has embarked upon a major program to bring petroleum and mining development to all corners of Ecuador.

Environmental organizatons have been shut down and intimidated in an attempt to silence any objections to this program.   In our area of Ecuador the President of the community of Junin has been jailed for his opinions against the proposed megamine that would disappear his village.  In the case of Los Cedros, for reasons unknown, Strategic Sectors, the VP´s portfolio promoting extractive industry, is now executing a suprise project to renew the boundries of LC and create an alternative comunity organization to run the reserve with the Environment Ministry´s Ibarra office.

This is unwelcome news as we were on the verge of getting started with our own Comanagement operation that had been coordinated with the same Ibarra office.  So much for good intentions.

This unsolicited intervention is the first time any government agency has ever shown any interest in the Los Cedros reserve, much less put any financing on the table.

Watch this spot for updates on who´s and what interests are behind this.   Strategic Sectors has been involved in major extractive industry interventions in the Cordillera del Condor and Yasuni, World Heritage Sites.