Improving the condition of ecosystems in the Andean highlands

Protection and sustainable management of ecosystems in the Andes (Montañas)

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  • Client

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Country
  • Political sponsors


  • Runtime

    2019 to 2024

  • Involved

    ARGE ECO Consult GmbH & Co. KG (ECO-Consult), Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecorregión Andina (CONDESAN), Lácteos San Antonio C.A., Cooperativa de Producción Agropecuaria El Salinerito, Sociedad Industrial Ganadera El Ordeño SA

  • Products and expertise

    Climate, environment and natural resources management

A group of people walk in single file across the Andean highlands.


Ecosystems in the Andean highlands of Ecuador are important for biodiversity as well as for the region’s water regime and food security.

However, owing to the high pressure of use and intensive cultivation of the land, the landscape is increasingly being destroyed – with tangible consequences. For example, water is less available, its distribution more uneven and the productivity of agricultural soils is decreasing.

Although large areas are already protected, there is a lack of coordination and implementation of planning processes between different actors. In addition, approaches do not yet sufficiently include the young population or consider aspects such as climate, migration and gender justice.

A woman holds a large sheaf of quinoa.


State actors and producer communities are successfully implementing measures to ensure that Andean areas are managed in an environmentally friendly way in the long term and restored to their natural state.


The project is working with the consulting firm ECO Consult and the non-governmental organisation CONDESAN in the five provinces of Cañar, Chimborazo, Bolívar, Tungurahua and Cotopaxi in Ecuador. The principle areas of action are:

  1. Promoting agroecological production techniques. The rural population’s key sources of income are developed in an environmentally friendly way. This applies to milk, bee honey, quinoa, tourism and alpaca wool.
  2. Planning and initiating renaturing measures. To this end, the project also improves access to financing options.
  3. Advising relevant actors on coordinating and implementing measures. Stakeholders include government agencies, as well as participants from the private sector and village communities.

The areas of action are embedded in a knowledge community (community of practice), which regularly exchanges experiences through various formats – such as events, working groups or digital platforms – in order to use the Andean highlands in an environmentally friendly way.

Last update: June 2023

Three people, one of them in traditional costume, in conversation beside a field and a cow pasture.