Organizational strengthening for the sustainable management of natural resources in tropical rain forests
Type of Document:
SANREM CRSP and CARE-SUBIR
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Place of Publication:
Project SUBIR has been working since 1992 in conservation and development in the lower areas of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve (RECC). SUBIR staff implement activities in association with other NGOs, specifically, CARE, JATUNSACHA, ECOCIENCIA, and with local communities. The purpose of the project is to implement development models based on the sustainable use of available natural resources to satisfy the needs of families and the social development of local peasant organizations. For this purpose, Project SUBIR staff develop activities which include
organizational strengthening, legalization and political initiatives, sale of products, improvements in land use, and biological monitoring. The lowlands of the CCER are located in the northwest of Esmeraldas province, in a tropical rain forest zone. Two major ethnic groups live in the reserve’s buffer zone, Afro-Ecuadorians and the indigenous Chachi culture. Due to geography, access to the area is difficult, and the communities have received virtually no services from the state. Consequently, there is a lack of basic infrastructure for health, education, conservation, social welfare and other needs. As a result, communities have to depend exclusively on natural resources, especially timber, to assure the satisfaction of their basic needs and to acquire community services. This situation puts community members at a serious disadvantage in dealings with the logging industry, middlemen, salesmen and all other parties who are eager to take advantage of the areas natural resources, which they have protected for years. The objectives of Project SUBIRs Organizational Strengthening Component is to aid members of Afro-Ecuadorian and Chachi organizations develop their administrative, organizational and technical skills in order to manage their natural resources in a sustainable fashion.