Loja’s newest conservation area saves wildlife and water resources for 200,000 people!
Thanks to you, 73,701 acres are now protected in the Ecuadorian Andes! On October 27, the Municipality of Loja declared Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area. Divided into 13 blocks throughout Loja, the new area saves wildlife and water sources for 200,000 people.
Encompassing cloud and montane forests and high-elevation paramo grasslands, Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area is located on the southeastern slopes of the Andes. Its vast landscape is home to thousands of species, from large mammals like the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) to birds such as the rainbow starfrontlet (Coeligena iris). Wildlife in the region include threatened and unique species – some of which are recently discovered and new to science.
Some of the blocks within the conservation area are located near Podocarpus National Park, a park renowned for its biological richness. In linking protected areas, Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area establishes habitat connectivity essential for the long-term survival of far-ranging species.
The area’s forests and grasslands contain sources of water for 200,000 inhabitants throughout Loja. Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area will safeguard this important natural resource from expanding agriculture, mining, and other threats. It will also help prevent floods, which are becoming more common with climate change.
Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area was established with FORAGUA, a municipal water fund in southern Ecuador. With support from Nature and Culture, FORAGUA was created 11 years ago to conserve water sources in Loja. The water fund pools the resources of municipalities to ensure clean, abundant water through sustainable watershed management. FORAGUA will fund restoration and management efforts in the new area.
Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area is a result of collaboration between Nature and Culture, the Municipal Decentralized Government of Loja, FORAGUA, and local communities. The area was created thanks to financial support from the Andes Amazon Fund, and generous supporters like you!
With your help, Nature and Culture will continue to work with local authorities and FORAGUA to develop the area’s management plan to ensure lasting and effective conservation impact.
Thank you for making this achievement possible! We hope that this bit of good news inspires you to continue fighting for nature and culture.
Catch a glimpse of Loja Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area in the video below.