Conservation of biodiversity, forests, and mitigation and adaptation to climate change


Ecuador belongs to the 17 so-called mega biodiverse countries in the world. Especially the region of the Amazon basin is known for its abundant variety of several hundreds species of each flora and fauna. The Reserva de Biosfera Yasuní (RBY), designated in 1989, is the settling area of the indigenous communities of Kichwa, Waorani and Shuar. Two other tribes, Tagaeri and Taromenane, have rejected all contact with the outside world and continue to move into more isolated areas. The majority of the population within the RBY lives in extreme poverty. The area’s biodiversity is threatened by oil exploitation, deforestation and social and institutional conflicts.

To protect this fragile ecosystem German-Ecuadorian cooperation started the special program "Yasuní Biosphere Reserve" in 2013, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). Its technical cooperation part, implemented by GIZ, focuses on two main objectives:

  • Strengthening the management of the RBY, through conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and renewable natural resources.

  • Strengthening the capacities of local stakeholders so that they improve their planning processes, public services and optimize the use of incentives and regulations.

The project cooperates with the Ecuadorian Government through the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture in the optimization of the relevant services in the cautious management of the RBY. Other partners are provincial governments, municipalities and parishes. The project seeks the inclusion and active participation of civil society, specifically community organizations, and the private sector.

The high global significance of the RBY and public attention from both Ecuadorian and German societies makes it necessary to accompany the interventions by flanking objective and transparent communication. This pertains to project activities and lessons learned, project impact and participatory decision planning.

ECO Consult assists in developing channels and tools for reciprocal communication and works to systemize learning processes and experience for technical cooperation staff, counterparts and partner organizations. A major task ahead is the design and implemention of information and knowledge management measures. For instance, exchange fora on pressing issues and further development of the program will be established and sustained, which will also be conducive for a transparent participation process.

Time span
2014 – 2017      

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Cooperation partner

Project activities in detail

Technical staff of the program have compiled a more detailed account of the technical activities delivered in the frame of the program. It describes i.a. the role of community management plans for the sustainable development of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve. In only three years - and despite a phase of reconception of the program - a process of joint learning and participation could be initiatied. A set of practical handbooks and other information material that was produced are available for download. More...