Conservation and Sustainable Development Projects in the Northern Andes Region
October 1, 2003 | Press Release | Conservation & Sustainable Development

MacArthur has announced 14 grants totaling more than $3.6 million in support of conservation and sustainable development projects in the tropical Northern Andes region of Ecuador and Colombia.

The Northern Andes region is particularly important in the context of global climate change, said Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation. Scientists anticipate that as global temperatures rise, the mountainous habitats of regions such as the Northern Andes will provide important refuges for species seeking the cooler climates of higher altitudes. The Foundation is investing in organizations that can contribute to preserving critical areas in the region by strengthening the legal infrastructure and helping to nurture political and technical leadership in conservation. The Northern Andes is an area of the world where we can still help save many species and protect the biological diversity for future generations.

The Foundations strategy in the Northern Andes is to support efforts to conserve ecosystems located at critical points within the region and to help local institutions and their international allies protect the regions biodiversity for the long-term. This includes working to create and protect national parks and sanctuaries as well as indigenous and ecological reserves designed to accommodate the needs of local communities. The fourteen grants awarded to advance this work in the Northern Andes include the following.

Inter-Andean Valley:

  • Corporacin Grupo Randi Randi in Quito, Ecuador, received a grant of $215,000 over three years to help local environmental units in three municipalities in Ecuadors Carchi province better manage their diverse natural resources and develop solutions to the environmental problems associated with farming and overgrazing in the region.

Eastern Andes Mountain Range and Upper Amazon:

  • Fundacin para la Sobrevivencia del Pueblo Cofn in Quito, Ecuador, received a $200,000 grant over three years to help train a group of indigenous people in northeastern Ecuador to manage their ancestral territories, which are also protected areas.

Environmental Law and Policy:

  • The Washington Office on Latin American in Washington, DC, received $100,000 over two years to help improve understanding among policymakers in the U.S., Colombia, and Ecuador about the side effects of aerial spraying for illicit crops on the biodiversity of the Northern Andes.
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