Restoring the Biodiversity of the Jujuy Landscape

Project Area
This project seeks to restore native high Andean forests in Mindo and Cayambe-Coca Reserve, which are located in the north-west and north-east of Pichincha, Ecuador. Both reserves are considered Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), and critically important for the provision of water as well as the presence of threatened species such as the Andean bear and the critically endangered black-breasted puffleg. Tree types native to the area include Polylepis incana and pauta, along with other andean species such as: alder, poroton, pumamaqui, laurel, pusupato, and cedar. In each location, the forest is under strong pressure due to expansion of the agricultural frontier and continuous cutting and burning of vegetation for charcoal production. However, the creation of private and community protected areas shows promise in supporting conservation of the forest and threatened ecosystems in the region. In the IBA of Mindo, extensive andean forests are protected in private reserves such as Yanacocha, Verdecocha and Alaspungo; while in Cayambe-Coca the creation of the Ponce-Palugillo Water Protection Area (the first of its kind in Ecuador), protects more than 4,000 hectares where water is captured for the benefit of more than 180,000 people.

Project Goals
The primary long-term objective is to conserve and restore the Polylepis forests of Jujuy. While working towards this goal, generating awareness and working together with native communities in advancing the social and educational components will be critical for sustained success on restoration projects, which include:

  • Mitigating the ecological imbalances caused by deforestation by conducting reforestation activities in the Yala, Ornaditas, Santa Catalina, Tumbayá, Maimara and Tilcara localities.
  • Conserving the biological diversity and richness of the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a semi-desert ecosystem in the high Andes containing endangered relict (remnant) forests, such as the Jujuy Yungas.

Current Results
Native Trees Planted: 30,000
Hectares Restored: 9
Nurseries Built & Maintained: 4
Communities Involved: 7
2022-2023 Tree Planting Projection: 50,000