Restoring mountain ecosystems in the Andes

Project description

Title: Conservation and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems in Ecuador
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ecuador
Overall term: 2020 to 2024

Two men in traditional clothing standing in the high mountains of the Andes. Photo: Rafael Jarrín


The mountain ecosystems in the highlands of Ecuador are a water reserve and habitat for unique biological diversity. They are subject to increasing damage due to agriculture that is not geared to the long term and is spreading to higher and higher locations.

To counteract this, Ecuador has established a series of national and local protected areas. Private initiatives such as water funds also make an initial contribution to protecting the mountain landscapes. However, the páramos, the typical type of vegetation in the highlands of the Andes, require large-scale protective measures.


The near-natural condition of Andean mountain ecosystems has improved.

A woman in traditional clothing pouring fresh milk into a milk churn. Photo: Andrés Verdezoto


To achieve its goal, the project works in the following areas:

It supports small farmers and cooperatives with the long-term production, processing and marketing of various local products such as milk, alpaca wool, quinoa and honey. The production is adapted to assist in climate change mitigation.

The project supports local communities and governments in protecting water catchment areas and restoring damaged areas to their natural state.

In addition, the project promotes collaborative processes for adapted land use and development planning with a view to improving the protection of the mountain ecosystems.

The project is expanding the cooperation and exchange of experience with a knowledge platform spanning various institutions and projects. In this way, it is spreading successful approaches that optimise sustainable use of mountain ecosystems in Ecuador and the Andean region.

Last update: April 2022

A beekeeper from the Cubilán beekeeping association surrounded by bees. Photo: Andrés Verdezoto