The Regional Water Fund of Southern Ecuador (FORAGUA) operates in 14 municipalities, serving 500,000 residents, and has restored 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of land and put an additional 337,000 hectares (833,000 acres) under conservation. By 2030, the fund aims to work in 39 municipalities, serving 1 million people and conserving 600,000 hectares (1.48 million acres) of land. A pilot project to incentivize landowners to rewild their properties and take up alternative livelihoods shows that where landowners could earn 50 times more per hectare cultivating guanabana, a local fruit, than raising cattle. Municipal residents pay on average $1 per month to FORAGUA for their water consumption, with 90% of funds raised going to conservation projects. Manual Pintado spent the past 15 years raising cattle in El Pangui, a municipality nestled in south-eastern Ecuador´s Amazonian region. Now, he receives an income for leaving his 15 hectares (37 acres) of pasture to rewild and has moved down the valley to grow guanabana or soursop, a giant tropical fruit that’s spiky green on the outside with sweet, slimy white flesh on the inside. The land owned by Pintado and 14 other landowners is in El Pangui’s water catchment area. According to the Regional […]


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