Land Purchase and Protection
The foundation purchases high biodiversity forest land directly or enables local communities to purchase and manage land. Maquipucuna was the first NGO to purchas land for conservation. This program enabled the creation of the Maquipucuna Reserve, the Tahuallullo farm & lodge of the Yunguilla Community, the Santa Lucía Cooperative Ecolodge and supported the Comuna Río Santiago Cayapas to secure communal property rights. The Maquipucuna reserve is comprised of fifteen properties that were purchased or obtained though conservation agreements.
In Ecuador, land tenure alone does not guarantee the protection of a property, therefore effective forest protection entails patrolling and legal expenses to dissuade and keep away squatters and illegal institutionalized land scammers.
Currently the Foundation is raising funds to create an endowment for long term protection and additional land purchases. Ongoing activities requiring funds include updating the registry of the land parcels that make up the Reserve in the cadastre of the city of Quito, buying parcels of land to protect Spectacled bear's key migration routes, and covering legal expenses to prevent land invasions. Its proximity to Quito signifies a major threat to its conservation as constantly there are people from the city who make a living by organizing land invasions.