Links: Ecuador Conservation Organizations

These are organizations which photographer Bruce Farnsworth is actively involved with, applying his photographs to local action. He believes these organizations are doing solid work to identify conservation needs in the forested habitats of Ecuador and supporting the efforts of local communities through grass-roots education, events and technical advice.

Bruce Farnsworth is a member of the Board of Directors of The Biodiversity Group, an international team of wildlife biologists, educators, and photographers dedicated to preserving the smaller majority of animal life on Earth. Rooted in the science of ecology, we illuminate little known communities of animals in shrinking wild places. Our photography programs – most notably citizen science projects in Vietnam and Ecuador – share the beauty, value, and scientific information to a worldwide audience through the camera-eye. And by fostering local education, we empower people with the experiences, skills, and tools to steward the rich ecosystems that surround and sustain them. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate informed management decisions by people, governments, and land preservation organizations to keep incredible biological landscapes intact for future generations.

Bruce Farnsworth is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Third Millennium Alliance, an organization that envisions a culture in which local communities recognize both the practical and intrinsic benefits of forest stewardship and manage the land accordingly, creating economic and environmental sustainability in the region. Their Jama-Coaque Reserve is prime Pacific Equatorial Forest is part of the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot, as designated by Conservation International, which runs from Panama to Peru, with Colombia and Ecuador in between. The Jama-Coaque Reserve is located at the Tumbes-Chocó ecological transition point, which straddles two Endemic Bird Areas.

Bruce Farnsworth is a member of the board of directors of this organization. Matt Terry is the executive director, a professional kayaker and self-trained hydrologist. ERI works closely with it’s companion organizations, Fundación Rio Napo. Together, both organizations have formed a leading grassroots coalition of government authorities, contributing scientists and local indigenous and mestizo communities working to establish measures for watershed managements, sustainable energy design and river protection.

Bruce contributed a gallery of images to one of the ERI’s major campaigns, the proposed Jondachi-Hollín-Misahuallí-Napo Ecological Corridor. In order to preserve the integrity of the biodiversity, aquatic ecosystems and scenic landscapes in one of the few remaining free-flowing river corridors that connects a very important transition zone between the Andes and the Amazon, the ERI has proposed the designation of the Jondachi-Hollín-Misahuallí-Napo Ecological Corridor as a model for natural resource management and conservation in the tropical Andes, with the value-added benefit of generating sustainable economic revenues for the region through low-impact adventure tourism activities which depend on the quality of the resource.

Save America’s Forests has become a clearinghouse of sorts for news, research and conservation efforts in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park and UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Their site contains an provides an excellent overview of biological and cultural diversity and lays out the direct and indirect impacts of petroleum development now facing the region.

Lowland Quichua communities sharing their local forests and culture as a sustainable source of income. We have wonderful personal experiences with this organization and will be developing future tours with their member communities.

This is Ecuador’s leading conservation organization with research and field stations throughout the country, including the Galapagos. Many of Bruce’s photographs were made at their biological research station near Tena, Ecuador. They provide many education and training programs for Ecuadorian high school and university students. Their field laboratories are leading the way in research on silviculture, rainforest ecology and sustainable microeconomies.

Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS supports long-term wildlife surveys and habitat use assessments conducted by Ecuadorian biologists. Two of their focus species are the giant river otter and the manatee. They are working in the Napo River valley, especially Yasuní National Park and watershed of the Cuyabeno, Limoncocha and Panacocha reserves. WCS supports projects which train indigenous Quichua and Huaorani as para-biologists and help these communities to establish community-based wildlife management plans.

UCLA Center for Tropical Research
Dr. Jordan Karubian leads the Center’s efforts in Ecuador. Projects focus on avian diversity and the involvement of local communities in education and para-biologist roles to effect long-term conservation. Studies are underway in the Amazon basin and Andean regions of Ecuador.

EcoMinga Foundation
Formed by a group of prominent scientists and conservation leaders, this organization works efficiently to identify areas of rare plant diversity and target the most threatened forest communities for protection.