Fundación Maquipucuna has been involved with the Proyecto Agroforestal Zamora (PAZ) since 1989 to 2002, a project designed to mitigate the impacts of colonization on the northeast side of the Park through extension and environmental education programs, coupled with participatory community forestry projects.
The project was an excellent example of how education has been integrated into conservation strategies. After finding educational materials that largely cater to urban populations in other regions of Ecuador, this project designed materials specifically for the rural communities located in the buffer zones. Several hundred children and adults were involved in this environmental education outreach.
Zamora Sugar Mill
Other outcomes of the project included the establishment of a community-run hydropowered sugar mill, cottage production of cheese and jams, a bridge, and a potable water treatment system for one of the communities.
PAZ contributed to reduce deforestation pressure on Podocarpus National Park, one of the most biodiversed Aandean forests, by creating environmentally friendly economic alternatives to deforestation and mining. Funding agencies included WWF,TNC, British Embassy, British Government Foreign Aid.