European Union External Action

Promoting sustainable landscape management in the Ecuadorian Andes

21/01/2021 - 19:27
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Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi and Bolívar are four provinces of the Ecuadorian Andes where agriculture generates around 26% of employment and represents more than 20% of the income of its inhabitants.

This is the scenario where the project "Andean Landscapes: Promoting the integrated management of landscapes for sustainable livelihoods in the Ecuadorian Andes" is implemented, seeking to improve the quality of life of the páramo communities, and responsibly manage the areas to avoid degradation of land and water sources.

The integrated management of the Andean Landscapes is an engine of innovation, new investments and better jobs for family farming in Ecuador. Based on cleaner, climate-smart and more resilient production, it promotes not only human well-being but also the environment. The inhabitants of the area have traditionally focused towards a subsistence economy with products such as: corn, wheat, potatoes, medicinal plants, legumes and extensive livestock. However, this mode of production is detrimental to conservation areas.

Through Andean Landscapes, communities will have the opportunity to solve the problem of deforestation, and mismanagement and land degradation, promoting collaboration mechanisms to establish effective intersectoral governance that favors synergies between climate change, biodiversity, food security and poverty reduction strategies and objectives. In addition, they will have technical assistance and facilities to access new markets, with an inclusive approach that takes into account the rights of rural women.

The project contributes to the reduction of the poverty rate, which is currently, on average, 78% among the population of these Andean provinces. In addition, the project will take place over five years on three pillars linked to

  • strengthening the instruments of national and local governance and policies for sustainable land management;
  • the implementation of conservation and restoration mechanisms in forest and productive landscapes;
  • and increasing productivity in sustainable value chains.

This initiative promoting good agricultural and conservation practices is part of a broader EU thematic program at global level for the environment and climate change. EU action for sustainable landscape management is linked to the Global Climate Change Alliance + GCCA + initiative that seeks to help developing countries face this challenge.

The project in Ecuador, has financing of EUR 5 M and is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Environment and Water of Ecuador.