BENEFITING: CLOUD FOREST INSTITUTE
I am a member of Cambugan Foundation, an NGO based in Ecuador which is focused on saving the disappearing cloud and rainforests of Ecuador. (We raise our money via Cloud Forest Institute.)
We're initially focusing on the Cambugan Watershed which is a 4,000 hectare area 50 km north of Quito. Human impact on the watershed has remained restricted to 3 families using the northern part of the watershed for charcoal production. These families have agreed to stop this destructive activity if we assist them in finding sustainable economic alternatives.
Our approach to protecting this forest is threefold: education, research and promoting conservation with local communities and making land purchases as a last resort to protect the land. We currently have a land owner who wants to sell his land and already has bids from cattle ranchers. We need to buy this land before he sells to someone else.
The Cambugán Foundation was formed in 2000 to accomplish these goals:
Help preserve the original tropical forest remnants in Ecuador
Work with local communities and organizations in developing forest conservation and restoration programs
Promote green, sustainable development within and around tropical forest communities
Simply put, we are 100% focused on preserving the rainforests and cloud forests of Ecuador because they hold some of the most diverse plant and animal life on the planet and are under threat of deforestation. Without conservation efforts, biologists predict that 15-37% of the animal species living in Ecuador will be extinct by 2050
About the watershed:
Because of its location on the western flank of the Andes, the area disappears almost every afternoon in a cloud of mist and rain falls throughout the evening. This creates the cloudforest climatic region where high levels of biodiversity both in flora and fauna have developed. In fact, an initial study of just 1 hectare (3 acres) in the lowland areas registered 1411 individual trees (5 cm wide and greater), which represented 132 species of trees.