The land is primary Chocó rainforest and selectively logged rainforest, which has remained untouched for at least 10 years. Both forest types harbor many threatened species. Research has shown that, once protected, even abandoned cacao plantations and pastures reach biodiversity levels like those of primary forests.
This purchase would allow us to connect four protected areas with a total size of more than 3,000 km² along an altitudinal gradient from sea level to 4,900 m. This is the only region in the Western Tropical Andes where the entire range of ecosystems can be protected.
Ecoregion: Chocó–Darién moist forests (NT0115)
The lowland Chocó rainforest in Ecuador is home to dozens of threatened species, including:
- Critically Endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus)
- Endangered Brown-headed Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps)
- Vulnerable White-lipped Peccary (Tayassu pecari)
- Vulnerable Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja)
- Near threatened Jaguar (Panthera onca)
- 8 Critically Endangered plant species
- 27 species that have not yet been found outside of the reserve
Local Partner NGO
Status of registration at the national level
Nonprofit foundation in Ecuador
Governance and management structure
Fundación Jocotoco was founded in 1998 to protect the most threatened ecosystems and species in Ecuador. Jocotoco is governed by an independent, international board of 15 people from six nationalities. The board — of which 40% are Ecuadorian — includes scientists, people with business or tourism backgrounds, as well as career diplomats. The board generally meets twice a year. Each year, PwC audits Fundación Jocotoco on a pro bono basis.
Fundación Jocotoco owns two subsidiary companies, Jocotours and Jocoambiente, whose profits are used to achieve the mission of Fundación Jocotoco. Jocotours runs five lodges and one café at reserves owned by the foundation. Approximately 6,000 people visit our reserves each year.
The purchased land will be actively protected, held in a perpetual trust and managed by Fundación Jocotoco, which has over two decades of experience conserving habitat.
Jocotoco has developed four revenue streams to support the management of the Canandé Reserve in the long term: 1) our Chocó Lodge is the only continuously operating tourism facility in the region; 2) we are building a research station to house a large group of researchers; 3) we are studying the feasibility of issuing carbon credits; 4) we are developing sustainable land uses in the buffer zone around the reserve to improve local livelihoods while reducing the environmental impact. Taken together, these activities will ensure the long-term sustainability of protecting the land.