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Last inspection by the MAE in the Palo Santo forest to obtain the protective forest declaration

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A tour was made in the Forest and Protective Vegetation El Artesan Ecuadorianhands in the community of Joa / Jipijapa / Ecuador, by the technical personnel the geographer's Ing. Valeria Recalde and Ing. Gabriela Saavedra of the Sub-secretariat of Natural Heritage, of the Ministry of Environment and Water (MAE in spanish). Those who toured the forest with the company of the president of Ecuadorianhands Fabrizio Vera, as one of the last inspections to be able to obtain the declaration of Protective Forest, and thus, later on, form part of the inventory of protective forests of the Country.

The MAE confirmed through the visit that there is a sustainable use in the forest. Also, it verified the implementation of the Comprehensive Management Plan previously proposed and the zoning of the area, it was confirmed the areas where reforestation is carried out, the restoration areas, the area that is for conservation, the permanent conservation area, and the area where it is performed forest management. After this visit, they will proceed to update the documents and thus wait for the pronouncement to obtain the declaration of the protective forest by the Sub-secretariat of Water Resources, who also establish their criteria within the declaration concerning water. Consequently, a document will be put together with all the data and criteria to be sent to the legal coordination and thus sign the ministerial agreement by the Minister of State.

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION

More than a decade ago, at the EcuadorianHands company, we began with the first empirical investigations regarding the properties and history of the Palo Santo tree (Bursera graveolens), first with a Comprehensive Management Plan that zoned the different areas of our forest and protective vegetation EL Artesanal EcuadorianHands located in the community of Joa / Jipijapa / Ecuador. This dry forest was taken as a pilot plant for the Bursera Graveolens reforestation project, an educational project that involves communities, where they are educated in protecting the trees, not cutting them down, not aggressively invading their territory, and thus allowing the restoration of the forests. Manabí drylands.

And it is that as a result of knowing that a large part of the flora of the province of Manabí is threatened every year by the constant feeling of forests, the indiscriminate use of the wood of the trees without an adequate reforestation plan, introduction of commercial species without the precautionary measures of risk to the environment and the lack of awareness on the part of the citizens, motivated us as a company to start a reforestation program specifically of Palo Santo, this species that could somehow fall into irrigation along with other species of its ecosystem if it is not cared for and protected now.

The first 5,000 trees began to be planted at the end of 2016 thanks to this project, to date more than 10,000 rosewood trees have been planted in the last 5 years.

This reforestation project is financed through a percentage of the money generated by the sale of Palo Santo products from Ecuadorianhands. Likewise, this financing has made it possible for 6 years to create a nursery. Since then approximately 40,000 trees have been planted.

LINKS WITH THE ACADEMY AND ONG's

Also, they have been working with Ecuadorian universities such as the Technical University of Manabí and the Laica Eloy Alfaro de Manabí University in several research projects, of which several scientific articles have already been published, among them the importance of preserving and maintaining the forests of palo santo, the study on carbon storage in the tropical dry forest, among others.

They are currently working with GIZ (German Cooperation) on new research aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of the Palo Santo tree (Bursera Graveolens). The use of new technological equipment, which will help the information obtained in previous research to be contrasted and improve the results. Where a specialist from Peru with experience in studies of this type of ecosystem brings their methodology to apply it in our territory.

The purpose of obtaining the declaration of Protective Forest in Manabí is for this fact to be a pilot Plan for Manabí, where it serves as a model so that later on, other people or ourselves are encouraged to carry out the procedures in other forests and contribute to making them designated as protected territories to educate citizens to protect our nature and the environment where we live. Living in harmony with nature is one of the purposes we wish for all of us, being able to continue keeping our natural heritage alive is the responsibility of all of us. And during these years we have remained faithful to this idea of being able to contribute to the conservation and study of this protective forest El Artesan Ecuadorianhands Forest and Protective Vegetation.

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