Avoided loss (urgent threat)
< 11,000 hectares
Biodiversity and carbon (stacked)
Canandé Reserve is an 11,000 hectare site in western Ecuador, adjacent to numerous indigenous communities and in urgent need of protection from ongoing deforestation. In the last 50 years, over 95% of the forests of western Ecuador have been lost. The remaining forest is critical for ecosystem functioning and to protect the area’s outstanding biodiversity. There are 13 tree species that have only ever been recorded inside the reserve, while it is home to the last viable population of jaguars in western Ecuador and the largest population of critically endangered Great Green Mccaw remaining in Ecuador. Canandé also contains around 80% of the global population of Brown-headed Spider Monkeys, one of the world’s 25 most threatened primates, as well as three amphibian and one snake species only found inside the reserve.
The primary aim of this project is to use income from biodiversity credits to halt deforestation around Canandé Reserve and fully protect the remaining pristine habitat it contains along with the biodiversity that depends on it. This will be done in partnership with the indigenous communities, offering employment opportunities linked to the reserve’s management and the development of sustainable income streams. A secondary goal once this is achieved is to begin allowing cleared areas of the reserve to recover via natural regeneration, which has been shown locally to produce visible results within just five years. The additional aim is to scale this project to indigenous communities whose cultural identity centres around the forest. Providing them with an opportunity to derive income from protecting the forest, would enable these communities to protect their heritage.