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Newsletter No. 2: Summary of activities of the Red Forestal Foundation

In our second institutional newsletter, as well as in future newsletter, we´ll inform the public about projects and various activities carried out by the Red Forestal Foundation. In addition to presenting news and updates on issues related to biodiversity conservation and the environment in general, this newsletter will also include upcoming events.

In the last months, our work has focused on the following activities: correcting errors and bugs related to the reforestation application „ÁRBOLA“, conceptualizing and developing the public and media campaigns, giving interviews, producing audio and video material, signing of service contracts and constant visits to the reforestation areas, in addition to exploring new possibilities of cooperation with other foundations.

With representatives of the Jocotoco Foundation in the first visit of the pilot project in the Buenaventura Reserve

Reforestation App „ÁRBOLA“

In March, the Red Forestal Foundation established a service contract with the payment platform PAYMENTEZ, through which our donors are now able to carry out the payment process to sponsor a tree. As one of the requirements of our labor relationship with PAYMENTEZ, we redacted the terms and conditions and the privacy policy for the app, in order to define the general guidelines for its use.

On Thursday the 25th of April 2019, the development of ÁRBOLA was concluded and a public launching event was held at Café Ananké, in Quito. This event was attended by collaborators, cooperating institutions and friends of the Red Forestal Foundation.

As part of the public promotion campaign, the Red Forestal Foundation produced a video for ÁRBOLA, which includes images of the Buenaventura reserve, as well as shots of the actual flora and fauna which inhabit it. Additionally, ÁRBOLA´s social networks and graphic line were created and defined, in order to establish the digital presence of the mobile reforestation app for its current and future media presence and promotion.

The Red Forestal Foundation concluded the cooperation agreement with the Ecumenical Projects Committee (Comité Ecuménico de Proyectos, CEP) thanks to which we were able to develop ÁRBOLA. A final meeting was held between the two organizations in order to audit and account the project, which concluded with the mutual satisfaction of the two organizations.

Our organization proceeded to successfully complete the pilot project with the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation, through which a total of 1,010 native and endemic trees were planted and georeferenced in a 2.2-hectare area belonging to the Buenaventura reserve, in the southern province of El Oro. These trees have been georeferenced, are currently under a constant monitoring and care program by the staff of the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. They have also been included in the database of ÁRBOLA. To this date, more than half of the 1,010 trees have been sponsored.

Interview in Radio IRFEYAL
Interview in Radio Francisco Estéreo

Interviews

Staff from the Red Forestal Foundation held a series of radio interviews at Francisco Estéreo and at the Instituto Radiofónico Fe y Alegría (IRFEYAL), in the city of Quito, with the aim of popularazing the reforestation app. IRFEYAL later produced a promotional audio clip with the Red Forestal Foundation in order to give publicity to ÁRBOLA, at its facilities, at the beginning of May.

In addition, the President of the Red Forestal Foundation, Sebastián Armas Thiel, held an interview with Mongabay Latin America, a digital environmental news outlet, regarding the current situation of dry forests in Ecuador, which was published on the website of Mongabay at the end of June.

With the representatives of the Jocotoco Foundation in the second visit of the reforestation area in the Buenaventura Reserve.

Field work

At the end of January 2019, we visited the Buenaventura reserve in order to monitor the reforestation process before the start of the rain season. We took on site data, including the georeferencing of the pilot project area and its documentation through photo and video material.

At the end of May, Red Forestal Foundation staff carried out a second visit to the reforestation pilot project in Buenaventura, in order to monitor the current status and growth of the 1,010 trees planted in cooperation with the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. Additionally, we also visited the Tapichalaca reserve, located in the province of Zamora Chinchipe, near the Peruvian border. These visits were related to the recollection of audio and video material by the Red Forestal Foundation in order to produce a promotional video on each of the reserves.

In the city of Piñas, a meeting was held with a local environmental group, which expressed its interest in working together with the Foundation on projects related to the protection of watersheds.

Signing of two new cooperation agreements

Signing of the agreement with Michael Moens, Director of Conservation of the Jototoco Foundation

On June 10th, the Red Forestal Foundation signed a second Cooperation Agreement with the Jocotoco Conservation Foundation. This agreement defines the joint planting of 60,000 trees in areas of a total of 80 hectares, in the reserves of Buenaventura (60 hectares) and Tapichalaca (20 hectares), which are part of the network of Jocotoco´s Conservation Foundation reserves.

On June 12th, a Framework Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Ibero-American Environmental Network (Red Iberoamericana de Medio Ambiente, REIMA, A.C.) and the Red Forestal Foundation, in the city of Jipijapa, Manabí. Through this agreement, the Red Forestal Foundation became a member of REIMA, A.C. This agreement defines the further development of joint actions regarding environmental education, research programs, academic exchanges, the development of seminars and congresses, among others.

Planned events and activities: June 2019

The Red Forestal Foundation is currently applying to the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) funding program. Through EOCA funding, we aim to reforest a total of 10,000 additional trees.

Contacts with Fundación YAKUM were established, an organization which is working on reforestation projects with indigenous communities near the city of Tena, in the province of Napo.

Signing of the agreement with Jordanis Puerta de Armas, General Coordinator of REIMA, in the city of Jipijapa.

A first contact meeting with FUCAE was held, a Foundation that conducts reforestation projects in San José de Minas, Pichincha, to explore future possibilities of cooperation.

We are in the preparatory phase of the development of an emissions compensation project for Quito’s automobile sector. This project will compensate the emissions of vehicles by reforesting native and endemic trees.