Restoration Techniques and Experiences in Quito’s Paramo and Cloud Forest Ecosystems by the World’s First Water Fund FONAG as Member of the Acción Andina Initiative in Ecuador

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Juan José Herrera , Silvia Salgado

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To protect and recover the city’s water sources during its 2020-2021 campaign, FONAG the first water protection fund in the world, carried out restoration projects in the paramo and cloud forest ecosystems surrounding Ecuador’s capital, Quito, as a member of Acción Andina, a Latin-American initiative for the conservation and restoration of high-altitude native forests. Northwest of the city, FONAG produced 30,000 native plants in local nurseries including Polylepis pauta for restoration at high-altitude sites (3,700-3,900 m) and around 15 species of native cloud forest (1,800-2,200 m) plants from different stages of ecological succession. FONAG is using this production, together with 20,000 more individuals already produced and ready to plant, to restore around 40 hectares of native forest cleared for livestock farming. This restoration features different plant combinations chosen in accordance with the degradation levels of each restored site, e.g., with pioneer species used in higher proportions where the forest was almost fully replaced by non-native grasses. Northeast of the city, FONAG is restoring fragmented Polylepis forests, highly important in hydrological regulation within the paramo ecosystem, starting with 15,000 Polylepis incana individuals planted on 20 hectares of land believed to have been previously part of a larger forest patch lost to deforestation. Continuing these efforts, we have begun production of 30,000 more Polylepis incana and P. pauta plants from seeds collected in the remaining forest and due to be planted in late 2021 for the restoration of around 30 more hectares of deforested land.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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