Restoring Mangrove Forests and Indigenous Livelihoods in the Coastal Regions of Ecuador

The coastal marine life territories of Ecuador are recovered through community participation. Photo: courtesy of C-CONDEM

Restoring Mangrove Forests and Indigenous Livelihoods in the Coastal Regions of Ecuador

Bioregion Ecuadorean Dry Coastal Forests & Flooded Grasslands (NT10)
Category Nature Conservation

Our project categories represent one of three core solutions pathways to solving climate change. Energy Transition focuses on renewable energy access and energy efficiency. Nature Conservation includes wildlife habitat protection and ecosystem restoration, as well as Indigenous land rights. Regenerative Agriculture supports farmers, ranchers, and community agriculture.

Realm Southern America

The Project Marketplace is organized by the major terrestrial realms divided into 14 biogeographical regions – N. America, Subarctic America, C. America, S. America, Afrotropics, Indomalaya, Australasia, Oceania, Antarctica, and the Palearctic realm, which coincides with Eurasia and is divided into Subarctic, Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern regions.

Status seed

Seed indicates an early stage project that needs some level of support to develop into a larger funding proposal. Active indicates any project that needs core programmatic funding. Urgent indicates a short-term project initiated in response to a natural disaster or other impending risk.

Funding Level $$

$$ indicates a project with a funding need between $50,000-$250,000.

Timeframe !2 Months
Partner Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Ecosistema Manglar (C-CONDEM)

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One Earth’s Project Marketplace funds on-the-ground climate solutions that are key to solving the climate crisis through three pillars of collective action — renewable energy, nature conservation, and regenerative agriculture. This project restores and protects coastal habitats.

Once, the Afro, Cholo, and Montubio Peoples of Ecuador lived as one with nature. The flourishing coastal mangroves provided them with abundant livelihoods and food. In return, they cared for and protected the forest.

Over the years, destructive industries have made their way into the vibrant jungle, causing the loss of 80% of the mangrove ecosystem today. Indigenous communities have almost no access to clean water, nutritious food, or prosperous work. The levels of extreme poverty have now reached 90%.

Support for this project will help the Indigenous Peoples of Ecuador restore the lost mangroves through a reforesting effort and reclaim their rights as ancestral caretakers of the forest.

Image credit: courtesy of C-CONDEM

Rooted in Indigenous women’s wisdom

This project is spearheaded by the National Coordinator for the Defense of the Mangrove Ecosystem (C-CONDEM), an organization that focuses on recovering Indigenous women's knowledge.

By putting women in leadership positions, the Indigenous wisdom on how to tend to the mangroves passed down from generation to generation can be integrated into forest restoration efforts. This project also helps develop gardens that can thrive within mangrove ecosystems. Women can cultivate these gardens to support their families and communities.

Community-managed mangroves

Currently, four hectares of community-managed mangrove ecosystems are being restored, with the prospect of expanding to 29 hectares. The communities also mobilize to defend, conserve, and sustainably manage these ecosystems.

Working with the communities in this effort is the Association of Fishermen, Farmers, Indigenous, and Afrodescendant Community Development of the Bajo Sinu Cienaga Grande. Students from Utrecht University are also supporting socio-ecological research.

Crab collectors from the Oro province, safeguarding the mangrove ecosystem and restoring life. Image credit: courtesy of C-CONDEM

Feeding families

In addition to restoring the mangroves, “Huertas Hermosas y Sabrosas,” or “beautiful and wholesome orchids,” are being established. Fifty women and their families will directly benefit from harvesting the mangrove gardens. For the two communities involved, about 100 families will benefit.

Building climate resiliency

This project helps local communities establish food security while safeguarding their coastal territories from the worst effects of climate change. Through communication and the sharing of experiences, communities will be able to replicate the successes of this project throughout the Ecuadorian coast.

Secure payment. USD donations tax-deductible.

Provide a major gift

Your contribution will help ensure the long term success of this important project. Gifts can be made as a tribute to a friend or family member and are tax-deductible for U.S. residents. Please contact us!