Clouds And Forests P1440688

Community watershed reserves Ecuador

Helping communities to protect the unique biodiversity of the cloud forests of northwestern Ecuador

Defending Intag cloud forests

Rainforest Concern has been working with DECOIN since 2000 on a number of conservation initiatives.

DECOIN was founded in January 1995 as a grass-roots environmental organization to protect the cloud forests of the Intag region of northwestern Ecuador. By enabling local communities to purchase forested land strictly for conservation, this area has a higher chance of long-term survival.

Community-led conservation and eco-tourism projects have helped to prevent a proposed copper mine from going ahead saving the area from destruction from toxic materials such as arsenic, lead, copper, chromium and cadmium.

In the long run, without people understanding why we are conserving large swaths of forests, there is no way they will be conserved

Carlos Zorrilla, DECOIN

The watershed reserves project also entails teaching communities how to monitor water quality and biological diversity with water testing equipment distributed to participating communities. This includes training on how to take, analyse and interpret water samples, and how to manage their reserve.


Rediscovery of extinct frog species

Atelopus Longirostris 1640865 Vt Cropped

Listed as 'extinct' on the IUCN Red List, the longnose stubfoot toad (Atelopus Longirostris) was found in DECOIN's Junin reserve in 2016 after 27 years of assumed disappearance.

Sustainable shade grown coffee project

DECOIN created the shade-grown sustainable coffee project, the Association of Small Coffee Growers “Rio Intag” (AACRI as it is known in Spanish).

Sorting through the dried coffee beans
Sorting through the dried coffee beans

The association is now completely independent of DECOIN. Currently there are over 400 members belonging to the association, and it incorporates strong environmental objectives in its bylaws, which we took part in creating. The coffee is shade grown, organic, and is being sold in the fair trade market in Japan, and nationally.