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Meeting with the Community of JOA | Palo Santo Integrated Management Plan Part 2

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As we explained in Part 1, the Integrated Management Plan includes meetings of association with nearby communities. This meeting is made for people to agree with the Sustainable Reforestation Plan we are developing for PaloSanto.

Our afternoon began with a trip of 2 hours to the community of Joa, where our palosanto field is located. On the journey from Manta to Jipijapa we observe the amount of flora and fauna that offer the manabitas lands. These lands belong to families of farmers and ranchers, and the ecuadorian Ministry of Enviroment is looking to protect.

Arriving in Jipijapa we saw the great production of coffee and corn. These are planted around the sector. This canton of the province of Manabí has tourist sites. The beach Puerto Cayo and the thermal springs are visited by tourists.

Immediately we moved to the commune Joa to have the meeting. The chapel of the commune was the meeting point.  The environmental consultant was at the meeting (Ing. Diomedes Orlando). The responsible for making the itinerary also was there (Ing. Luis Andrade). The members of the Joa commune were also present: President (Sòcrates Quimis), vice president (Ruben León), secretary (Stalin Quimis Lino) and treasurer (Enrique León).

The Forestal Engineer opened the conversation with a brief greeting and words of thanks. The Engineer explains that there are companies that process the Palo Santo. They hired an team of professionals to make an environmental impact study of the territory, and an Integrated Management Plan to sustainably pickup palosanto and get licensed by the Ministry of Enviroment of Ecuador.

Meeting with the communes in Joa PaloSanto EcuadorianHands

He spoke about the first topics; These were about possession of land and environmental conservation. Another topic that made clear were the requirements demanded by the Ministry of Environment for the PMI (Integrated Management Plan).

The Ministry of Environment requested an affidavit by the owner of the land. This statement should include benefits that are granted to nearby communities. It is done before a notary. Members of the commune finally have to sign; This shows that they all agree.

The people of the community have the benefit of gathering the Palo Santo of this field for free. In this way, the benefits are for the company and the community of Joa. Fair and square!

The engineer said that this project also benefits the country. Ecuador will be known as a producer country of essential oils and incenses of Palo Santo, and of course there will be taxes paid to the government for further reinvesting into the communities.

Immediately intervened the president of the commune (Sòcrates Quimis). He explained that in 2008, Joa began to make a territorial allocation process. The objective was to obtain a global deed for the land of the commune. Therefore, the inhabitants of the area can be part of the business projects that can be develop. He also indicate they support the palosanto proyect as it would bring benefits to their community.

Meeting with the communes in Joa PaloSanto EcuadorianHands1

The secretary of the commune asked about the boundaries of the property. The Environmental Engineer explained that the land will not be closed with wire. Plantations of Palo Santo are surrounded by "muyuyo" (natural glue we use for the cones incense). This is done to prevent cattle from traspassing and eating "cogollos".

For the next meeting the following points were raised:

1. Continue with the Integrated management plant of the land property of EcuadorianHands

2. To Socialize with the Joa community.

Finally the attendance sheet was signed. Members of the commune with engineers shake hands. They scheduled the date of the next meeting to sign a final agreement.

The meeting was completed approximately in hour and half. The return to Manta was gratifying. We were delighting with the native gastronomy of Jipijapa. Corn tortillas, breads starch, and alfajores are on the road. We buy these products and help revive the economy of Ecuador after the earthquake that hit its shores. 

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