The First Water Protection Area in Southern Ecuador
Thanks to you, a new Water Protection Area conserves 11,527 acres in southern Ecuador.
On Friday, January 22, Ecuador’s National Government declared Santa Rosa Water Protection Area (Santa Rosa), the first Water Protection Area in southern Ecuador, and seventh in the country! Located in the southwestern Andes, in the province of El Oro, the new area protects water sources from the Santa Rosa River, which provides drinking water to more than 80,000 people.
A “Water Protection Area” status legally safeguards wild places and water sources from all exploitation activities, ensuring clean water supplies for human consumption and domestic use. The declaration of Santa Rosa will legally protect the area’s water sources from threats like mining and unsustainable agricultural practices.
Santa Rosa will also protect one of the last remnants of howler monkey habitat in the region. According to Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, between 2008 and 2014, an average of 15,500 acres of forest were lost each year in El Oro due to deforestation, threatening the survival of this species.
In fact, the region’s cloud forests are an important refuge for a diversity of plants and animals! Just one hectare (or 2.5 acres) of cloud forest in El Oro can hold between 100 and 180 species of trees. Additionally, previous studies by Nature and Culture International and the National Institute of Biodiversity have identified 629 species of birds in the region, including the endemic El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi) and threatened yellow-throated toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus).
Nature and Culture developed technical documents to justify the creation of Santa Rosa, including studies related to the area’s ecosystem services and water sources. The Water Protection Area was established with the financial support of Tinker Foundation and generous people like you!
With your help, in partnership with Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Nature and Culture will continue to work on the creation of ten additional Water Protection Areas in the country! These areas are of ecological and hydrological importance for Ecuador and the world.
Thank you for making this achievement possible! We hope that this bit of good news inspires you to continue fighting for nature and culture.