Coastal Conservation Corridor - Ecuador: Raising awareness and demonstrating benefits
The Ceiba Foundation (pronounced “SAY-buh”) has been dedicated to the conservation of tropical habitats since 1997. We focus on Ecuador's coastal forest and orchid-rich mountains, two of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth. To preserve the remarkable biodiversity and critical ecosystem services of this region, we are working to connect over a quarter-million acres of forest fragments in the county of Jama (pronounced “HA-ma”) to form a biological corridor spanning over 135 km (85 mi). Ceiba’s Coastal Conservation Corridor (CCC) spans a range of micro-climates and habitat types, and can provide wildlife mobility across a climate gradient, critical in the face of climate change.
To best implement and promote conservation action, we do not focus on purchasing land, but instead promote restoration and reforestation, technical assistance and training for landowners and entrepreneurs, and public education on the benefits of conservation and sustainable land use practices. Our approach keeps land in local hands by emphasizing conservation easements and financial incentives to promote sustainable land stewardship. As part of these efforts, and in partnership with four municipalities in Manabí Province, Ceiba has established a new Conservation and Sustainable Use Area (ACUS) that includes the Coastal Conservation Corridor. The declaration promotes sustainable land uses that satisfy economic needs of landowners while also allowing local flora and fauna to flourish. The ACUS comprises over 500,000 acres in total area (206,000 ha), including more than 200,000 acres of forest (112,000 ha). While this concept exists on paper, the challenge is to put it into practice by increasing awareness of its existence and its socioeconomic and ecological benefits and promoting local embrace of conservation objectives that benefit everyone.