News From the Cloud Forest

Los Cedros to get Rights of Nature hearing

This is a big deal.  For the first time the Constitutional Court will test the reach of the Rights of Nature through deliberations over the protected status of the Los Cedros Reserve.  Protection is half the legal definition of a Bosque Protector which have always been a main part of the defence of the reserve.  Now, the Constitutional Court will deliberate over how to apply the Rights of Nature to this protection.  Very good news indeed.

Watch this spot for further updates and this page for contacts if you would like to donate to the legal fund being setup to finance the upcoming campaign.  Best news ever this unexpected development.

 

Los Cedros gets Constitutional Court hearing on Rights of Nature

This is a big deal.  For the first time the Constitutional Court will test the reach of the Rights of Nature through deliberations over the protected status of the Los Cedros Reserve.  Protection is half the legal definition of a Bosque Protector which have always been a main part of the defence of the reserve.  Now, the Constitutional Court will deliberate over how to apply the Rights of Nature to this protection.  Very good news indeed.

Watch this spot for further updates and this page for contacts if you would like to donate to the legal fund being setup to finance the upcoming campaign.  Best news ever this unexpected development.

Environmental permits canceled for mining company & All new Wi-Fi at reserve

All good news this week as the environmental permits for prospecting by mining company have been revoked by Provincial Court here in Imbabura.  The mining company is shut out of the reserve at least for the present.  This is a first for Ecuador and being called a game change for Human Rights and the Rights of Nature here in Ecuador.

Also we got a new satelite internet conect set up and it is humming.   So as to wi-fi,  the scientists are downloading netflicks to thier phones from the dining room.  Guess I will have to set up a Facebook page in a few days and I am now on Whatsapp with the cel phone number listed on this page.

80% of Los Cedros titled to Canadian Mining Fund

Three weeks ago the first maps appeared from the national mining regulatory ministry indicating that 80% of this proteced area has been titled to Cornerstone, a mining investment fund.  Since it is very irregular for such an entitlement to be given to a foreign investor without a public hearing, two weeks later Cornerstone signed an agreement to work with the national mining company.  This makes the title legal even if the public/priviate alliance was after the fact.

So far no presence of any prospector has been noted.   I know many people belive that this government has a good record with the environment but it just ain´t so.   Many areas of Ecuador have been afected by new mining titles in what must be the largest give away of Ecuadorian resources never to be reported in the press.

I hesitate to tell what measures are being taken from this end to combat this stupidity but let it suffice to say there will be legal and moral litigation coming.   If anyone out there knows someone who owns shares in this investment fund it would be important for us to contact them.   We need to present a list we are compiling of scientist whos work will be compromised if metal mining is the new zoning of Los Cedros.

I would like to ask anyone who knows this reserve to please write to a group that is coordinating this presentation.   There will be a general letter to atempt to reason with the CEO.  There are just not any places left to replace the biodiversity to be lost for the profit of some unknown and uncaring investors.

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The donation page that is operational is found @

https://planetfunder.org/donations/4006

Ornithologist to lead New Los Cedros Bird Count

From the 18th of Feburary, 2016 ornithologist Jesse Michael Rubenstein will be leading Los Cedros volunteers in renewing the reserve Bird List.  It would be good to have between 5-10 volunteers to help out.  So anybody interested should contact us for more details before Feburary so we can accomdate you for this two and possibly 3 week effort.

People with specialist interestes or equipment should also let us know.

Visitors will also be welcome to just enjoy the birds.

 

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.