Ecuador's landscape
Our work in Ecuador: Lands Our work in Ecuador: Lands © Bridget Besaw


Ecuador Territorial Cosmovision

TNC implements the strategy of integral territorial planning at local scale

What We Do

The strategy has two essential elements. One is the generation and implementation of technical tools with central, regional, provincial, and municipal governments. The tools combine the concepts of integrated landscape management to reduce pressures on biodiversity and natural resources to achieve zero deforestation. The second is an indigenous policy defined as a System of Indigenous Territorial Organization (SOTI) that is shaped by communities and indigenous technical criteria for the integral management of their territories. The indigenous policy and territorial management criteria are being integrated into the Development and Territorial Plans as local development policy. The entire process is developed with the participation of and in close coordination with central government institutions responsible for environmental policy and planning. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) will work with the institutions to create guidelines for local governments.

The indigenous policy defines the procedure to organize the territory of native communities following traditional patterns. TNC expects that government agencies that are linked to territorial organization at the national, regional and local levels will validate the process. TNC also expects that the effort will generate ethno-zoning maps that will allow communities to negotiate the implementation of possible investment projects within their territories (as a mechanism to face external threats to their territories). Additionally, we expect communities themselves to organize the use of their territories to face internal threats, such as the expansion of the agricultural frontier.

To support those goal, TNC provides trainings and technical assistance to improve the definition and implementation of local and national public policies related to the use of land, forests, water, and biodiversity. We help integrate indigenous territories by creating and implementing management plans that integrate the territorial cosmovision of indigenous cultures and are incorporated into local and national planning processes.

Where we do it

The Yasuní Biosphere Preserve holds a large portion of the biodiversity of Ecuador and the world and is home to ancestral cultures that have preserved the area for thousands of years. The preserve covers more than 3 million hectares and TNC works with the active involvement of provincial and municipal governments. We also incorporate Kichwa indigenous communities into the processes of integral planning of the territory.

Since when

TNC started the work in 2017 and will carry it out until 2020 in order to consolidate conservation efforts.


TNC has the financial support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other entities such as the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador, Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society. Locally our partners include local governments and indigenous Kichwa communities.