Ecuador, home to some of the world’s most impressive and diverse ecosystems, faces challenges in balancing conservation with improving the livelihoods of its poorest citizens. Chemonics, through USAID’s Sustainable Forests and Coasts project
, promotes domestic economic growth while strengthening Ecuador’s existing value chains, such as agriculture, fisheries, wood products, non-timber forest products, and tourism, to increase local incomes while safeguarding natural resources. Specifically, the project is protecting the red crab population, preserving flora, such as tagua and mangrove trees, and promoting eco-tourism.
The project creates real opportunities to increase the local population’s income while caring for its precious natural resources. The project also reduces the major threats to conservation by creating incentives for local communities to defend and value their natural resources while working inside its most essential geographic areas to preserve biodiversity. It works with entrepreneurs ready to launch their own microenterprises by offering commercially successful products and services that meet sustainability standards to promote conservation.
The project identifies landscapes and seascapes for conservation and identifies threats by leveraging its resources through its partnership with public and private organizations and alliances with donors, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations. The project also helps rehabilitate degraded terrestrial and coastal marine habitats by promoting protection of water source and riverbank vegetation and promoting reforestation/regeneration by implementing climate change response and adaptation measures based on vulnerability analyses.