Ecuador: Agreement signed on sustainable use of mangrove forests

Berlin / Quito, 19 October 2021

To protect mangrove forests and their sustainable management, Johanniter and partner organisations are implementing a transnational project on the Pacific coast of Ecuador and Colombia. It aims to stabilise the livelihoods and nutrition of fishing families and coastal communities, while protecting the natural habitat in times of climate change. Communities in Ecuador have now achieved an important success.

On 1 September 2021, the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment signed an agreement with APESARBIPAR, the association of local fisherwomen and fishermen in the province of Esmeraldas, for the sustainable management of a mangrove forest covering more than 400 hectares.

The mangrove forests are an important but sensitive ecosystem on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Their existence is threatened in many places by crab production and climate change. The mangrove forest is home to a variety of animals and plants, protects the coastal area from rising sea levels and provides the livelihood for a large number of fishing villages.

Support for processing and marketing

Direktorium von APESARBIPAR, Vertretende des Umweltministeriums, die stellvertretenden Bürgermeisterin von San Lorenzo, sowie Expertinnen und Experten des von der JUH geförderten Projekts nach der Unterzeichnung des Abkommens.

APESARBIPAR is part of a network of small fishermen's organisations that Johanniter has been working with since the end of 2020. Together with our local partner organisations Heifer in Ecuador and A-kasa in Colombia, we contribute to the protection of the mangrove forests on the Pacific coast and at the same time support the improvement of food security for the people in the coastal region.

The agreement now signed is an important step in this direction. It secures the families exclusive access to the mangrove forest and obliges them to protect biodiversity. Within the framework of sustainable use, they undertake to observe the standards and the closed season so as not to endanger the population.

"The agreement now clears the way to concretely improve the food security of 48 families and prevent the deforestation of further mangrove forests. The commitment to sustainable use was a basic requirement," explains Sandra Weppler, Country Office Manager of Johanniter. "In the next step, we will support the families to further process and market their products in order to achieve a better income for them." The signed agreement is the prelude to future contracts with other fisheries organisations.

Colombia: Unique ecosystem at risk

In Colombia, our local partner organisation A-kasa supports the people in sustainably securing their livelihoods, which are closely linked to the state of the magroves and their ecosystem. 


Indigene Kleinbäuerin in Ecuador

International Assistance in Ecuador

In Ecuador, we support indigenous communities and strengthen their resilience in times of climate change.

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