Communal management as a strategy for restoring cloud forest landscapes in Andean Ecuador
Engaging smallholders in reforestation efforts is often difficult but critical to the programs success. This paper highlights this point through reviewing an initiative in the Ecuadorian Andes. This initiative included a locally-led nonprofit in the Intag valley of Ecuador that was committed to watershed reforestation projects, purchased land from smallholders and signed the deeds over to local commmunities, with minor use restrictions (no burning, cattle, cultivation, or harvesting for sale). The nonprofit (DECOIN) prodivded the community technical training on planting and seedling harvests, as well as a paid wage in some casses.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors found that the project successful restored the watershed. The paper also evaluated the factors that led to success, given the nature of a community-governed project. These included: reduced-risk relative to private land restoration, participation across socio-economic class, distributed risk, pooling of resources, create space for shared learning opportunities, leadership by recognizable and trust worthy community members. At the end of the project, many private landowners were empowered to plant trees on their own land.
Communal management as a strategy for restoring cloud forest landscapes in Andean Ecuador. World Development Perspectives. 2016;3:47–49. doi:10.1016/j.wdp.2016.11.007..
- International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI)
- School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michiga