velvet field ecuador

The Nature Conservancy in Ecuador


Land Conservation. Expanding Conservation and Sustainable Rural Development

Despite their enormous value, forests are facing increasing pressures. Nature's value rarely figures in economic decisions, and we continue to sacrifice natural systems as we expand our production of food, energy and other needed resources.

We safeguard Ecuador's natural landscapes by: 

  • Protecting and restoring critically important habitats.
    • Safeguard ecologically sensitive places by guiding development toward sites with the least impact on nature.
  • Transforming how we use nature to sustain ourselves.
    • Through our science and partnerships, we encourage innovative practices and policies to ensure that we grow our food, safeguard freshwater and source our energy as sustainable as possible.
  • Inspiring collective action.
    • Galvanize leaders, from policy makers and communities to lawmakers and business leaders, ensuring the adoption of a sustainable rural development model that can be broadly applied 
Park Guard
Above, Pedro Queta, a community park ranger and member of the Cofan group, talks about how TNC's program provided training for him to be a park ranger in his ancestral forest: "We were five from each community. Our teacher taught us how to use GPS, compasses, first aid, monitoring, how to be a good leader..." © PLACE_HOLDER

Protecting and restoring critically important habitats

Another Cofan community park ranger explains: "The territory is ours and we have always cared  for it, but now working in the park to protect it, I feel that the park is our own...I feel more committed to the well being of the park."

  • Leading the Consorcio Paisajes Indigenas, TNC is working with the indigenous Cofan community in Ecuador's Sucumbios province to protect critical natural areas.
    • We have provided trainings in management and governance to more than 60 community park rangers that now work to protect Reserva La Bonita Cofanes Chingual, a national park that stretches across more than a million acres, from highland paramos to tropical forests and acts as the buffer zone for the Cofan's territory.
  • Watch our video to learn how we are developing participatory tools, aligned with traditional community-based criteria, for land use planning in indigenous communities.

PLACE_HOLDER Above, Elsa has been working on her father's farm for the past 6 years. She is involved a pilot program promoting sustainable and organic farming practices. © PLACE_HOLDER

In Ecuador, where deforestation is mostly fueled by an encroaching agricultural frontier, we are providing sustainable agriculture and aquaculture trainings to help communities transition to more sustainable growing techniques. We are connecting farmers with sustainable value chains, and training them in financing strategies, market research and technical assistance for growing the paiche fish. 

  • Together with USAID, we assisted more than 30 women in the Dovuno community to form an association and create a savings fund to expand their production activities. One women explains, "without them we could not be where we are now, feeding our family well...thanks to them we have two big tanks now to farm and feed our fish."


Butterflies on branches in the Mindo Cloud Forest. The Mindo Cloud Forest Preserve ranges from 1400 to 4780m of altitude on the western slope of Pichincha Volcano in Ecuador, South America.
PLACE_HOLDER Above, Butterflies on branches in the Mindo Cloud Forest. The Mindo Cloud Forest Preserve ranges from 1400 to 4780m of altitude on the western slope of Pichincha Volcano. © PLACE_HOLDER

With the NOA'IKE (Nacionalidad Originaria A'l Kofan del Ecuador) an institution that represents Cofan communities in Ecuador, we are helping consolidate Cofan territory and empower Cofan communities across Ecuador and Peru to conserve their natural resources for future generations. NOA'IKE is now stronger locally, regionally and internationally, and has a bigger political influence.