The Province of Esmeraldas is located on the Northern coast of Ecuador. Known for its great variety of vegetation and fauna, it is often called the “green province” of Ecuador. As a way to respond and adapt to the effects of climate change the Province of Esmeraldas has created the System of Conservation Areas, defined as a set of systematically integrated areas with unique values for the natural and cultural heritage of the province. The project comes from the urge to sustainably manage the province’s biodiversity by preserving, restoring and recovering its ecosystems and its derived services. The focus of the project is the sustainable use of Esmeraldas’ natural resources, considering its cultural evolution to benefit the people of Esmeraldas.
The System will be regulated and coordinated by the Environmental Management Department of the Decentralized Autonomous Government of the Province of Esmeraldas (GAD for its acronym in Spanish) . To guarantee the connectivity between the different conservation areas, one of the actions considered in the project is the creation of conservation corridors based on the concept of functional landscape, which connects different ecosystems and habitats.
The contemplated budget equals 10% of the total annual allocation of the Environmental Management Department. The resulting value will be divided between all declared areas. This budget is available as of January 2019, as established in the general framework of the Municipal Ordinance.
The declaration of the conservation areas follows the following process:
The Provincial Ordinance states that the associations or inhabitants from the areas that request the Declaration, will become the direct managers of the conservation area. The Government of Esmeraldas will contribute to its administration by offering technical support, small monetary contributions and support for the search of resources for its maintenance and the execution of plans, programs and projects indicated in the management plan.
The phases following the Declaration of the Conservation Area are as follows: 1) Appointment of a co-management committee that coordinates and represents the declared conservation area; 2) Development of a Management Plan, including programs and projects to be executed in the conservation area; 3) Execution of the plan, programs and projects in coordination with the Department of Environmental Management and other Departments of the Government of Esmeraldas.
Areas declared so far:
Areas in process of declaration:
Wildlife Sanctuary “Afroecuatoriano Wimbi”
Sustainable Use and Conservation Area “Finca El Aullador”
Sustainable Use and Conservation Area “La Cotona es Vida”