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Intag In Peril

$695 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 16 months
Created July 1, 2017
Overview

The principle purpose of DECOIN (Defensa e Conservación Ecológica de Intag) is to conserve the Intag region in the Tropical Andes, the
most threatened and bio-diverse region in the world. Since 1995,  DECOIN has been working with communities to protect 27,000 acres (12,000 hectares) of this beautiful land.

Since local drivers of deforestation come from the nearest communities, DECOIN aims to tackle the sources of deforestation such as cattle ranching, expansive agriculture, and more recently large scale mining, through a combination of measures. It works to empower and educate local communities to protect their own natural resources. Over the past 22 years, DECOIN has helped create 41 community-owned watersheds and forest reserves.

One of DECOIN's many forums on water and biodiversity

In June of 2017, DECOIN was selected as one of only fifteen recipients of the United Nations’ Development Program “Equator Initiative” award , being recognized for its innovative conservation work.

The goal of this fundraiser is to expand existing community reserves and add 23 new ones in the next five years, continue providing safe drinking water, and keep mining from destroying Intag’s social and environmental richness. To achieve this goal, DECOIN must raise $15,000. The breakdown of these funds is as follows:
$4,000 for community patrolling of their forest reserves
$3,500 for environmental education
$2,500 to continue offering legal defense to small communities
$2,000 to continue educational video production
$3,000 for administrative costs

In Detail

The Intag region lies in the Imbabura province of northwest Ecuador within the Tropical Andes; the most bio-diverse of the world’s hotspots. The region is still rich in tropical cloud forests; a unique, extremely threatened ecosystem. 90% of Ecuador’s cloud forests have already been been lost and the rate of deforestation in Ecuador is the highest in South America at 1.7%.

The principle local drivers of deforestation are unsustainable land use through agriculture expansion and illegal logging. The majority of people living in Intag are small scale subsistence farmers and ranchers with low rates of education and low incomes. Although living beside cloud forest, many have little experience of it and view the forest not as a natural resource to be protected, but as a possible source for expanding their economic activities. The rate of deforestation has greatly slowed due to DECOIN’s environmental education programs at schools and in general with the local population, as well as with the creation of community-run reserves.

External drivers of deforestation include mineral extraction, land trafficking and infrastructure development in the form of road building. Specific to this region, there is a long-term threat of copper mining, which is at advance exploratory stage. If successful, a preliminary environmental impact study suggested there would be major environmental and social impacts, including relocation of four communities, massive deforestation and contamination of rivers and streams with heavy metals, and impact to endangered species. Already, 104 species of animals threatened by extinction have been identified in the proposed mining area, including some that are already critically endangered.

Recently rediscovered Longnose Harleqiun Frog in Junin's community reserve

DECOIN is currently working to educate the local community on the real impacts of a large-scale mine. They also provide legal support to community activists fighting against the mines and create alternative sustainable economic activities, such as shade-grown coffee and community eco-tourism. Their work with local government has created policies that help protect the environment, including the risks of mining.

In the long term, DECOIN hopes to create a collective environmental awareness to defend and protect their natural environment.

To learn more about DECOIN, visit  www.decoin.org or like us on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/decoinorg

For more information on the mining threats, visit www.codelcoecuador.com

Email us at toisan06@gmail.com




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In answer to Craig's question regarding the importance of Intag's Cloud Forests:

Hello Craig..

To answer your question, yes, the few remaining cloud forests in Intag are critical to providing the region with enough moisture to sustain people, habitats, wildlife and human communities. The last objective Environmental Impact Study done for a small mine, predicted the open pit mine would cause so much deforestation that it would dry up the local climate. Then, the miners found 5x more copper; and now Codelco is hinting at a much larger find. On the more global note, Cloud Forest are one of the most threatened ecosystems on the planet: comprising less than 2.5% of the planet's tropical forests, but contributing much more than their share to the protection of water resources..... I could go on, but I hope you get the picture. And thanks for asking

Carlos Zorrilla
Intag, Ecuador
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FREE BOOK OFFER!!! For those of you who donate more than $50, we will send out the book Environmental Revolutions in Ecuador by Tammy Lewis. Here is what a reviewer had to say about it “Ecuador's Environmental Revolutions offers a unique framework for evaluating trade-offs among economic, social, and ecological values and policies in the globalization era. Comparing successive neoliberal periods, Tammy Lewis provides a didactic template for analyzing changing balances of forces within and between states, extractive resource interests, and environmental movements. This is a very timely case study with universal relevance.”
—Philip McMichael, Cornell University, author of Development and Social Change: A Global Perspective and Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions
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A quick thank you for all of you who so far have donated to the Intag cause. Another bit of good news is that the County government recently passed a resolution against mining. However, the national goverment has final say on mining matters, unless, people on the ground make it clear that we will not accept mining imposed on us, our communities, our forests and our streams. Please keep sharing the link and help us reach our goal
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$695 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 16 months
Created July 1, 2017
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SW
$100
Shannon Wright
11 months ago
$25
Amanda Robinson
11 months ago
CH
$25
Craig Humphrey
16 months ago
$10
James Graham
16 months ago
EB
$100
Emily Billo
16 months ago
PS
$100
Pamela Statz
16 months ago
JP
$20
Jaeda Patton
16 months ago
$100
Anonymous
16 months ago
KG
$50
Kenneth Gould
16 months ago
TL
$50
Tammy Lewis
16 months ago
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