Ecuadorianhands hand in hand with the company El Artesan, have always been interested in caring for and protecting the environment, their main objective is to regenerate the dry tropical forests, where the Palo Santo grows, which in the province of Manabí are very abundant.
Two years ago (2016) they started a reforestation project, the area chosen for this project was Joa, located in Jipijapa / Manabí, where nearly 3000 Palos Santo trees were planted and in 2017 around 5,000 were planted saplings of palo santo, although it is understood that there are many trees reforested, there is a high mortality of these trees, caused by poor agricultural practices on the part of neighbors, invasions and destruction by cows.
Bearing this problem in mind, both companies established a short-term goal, which is to reduce the mortality of the saplings that are being reforested, which is why the State and the community were involved, and to achieve the declaration of a protective forest in the area where these trees are planted.
To be able to declare an area in "protective forest", an integral management plan (PMI) must be made, which establishes the actions to prevent, control, and correct environmental impacts. Plans for monitoring, evaluation and monitoring of flora and fauna are also included in the PMI.
The process was long and each requirement was met, so that on December 23, 2016, PMI approval could be obtained with number 06308007502, a document necessary to achieve the declaration of "protective forest" by the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador (MAE ).
In May 2018, the representatives of the companies EcuadorianHands and El Artesan, made the official delivery of documentation to the Provincial Director of the Ministry of Environment in Manabí Eng. Vicente Zavala, to declare the 50 hectares of Palo Santo in Joa as a forest protective. The request was made formally for the forest declaration, and is currently undergoing the appropriate technical analysis, to achieve the much sought after goal.
We have made great changes and we can now corroborate that the trees planted in 2017 and a percentage of 2016 are still alive, and growing every day. But there is still the fear that these growing trees are cut or damaged, for this reason we proceeded to place 4 signs in order to protect the trees of palo santo and inform the community that the area is in the process of protective forest and that there is a process hand in hand with the corresponding authority (Ministry of the Environment) MAE.
Dante Bolcato director of the company El Artesan, explains that the project Palo santo Joa 50-Has, is a public, private, community project and that within the parameters of the PMI approved by the (MAE), the 50 hectares of forest, a 30% ie 15 hectares can be used to grow and harvest.
Being a community project, these 15 hectares are planned to be lent to the people or neighbors belonging to the community, so that they can make sowing of short cycles, in exchange for helping to care for and protect the Palo Santo trees, especially trees under 5 years old that are the most vulnerable.
This pilot plan carried out in Joa, is a key project for the dry forests of Manabí and it is planned to convince and encourage more farmers in the province to take this initiative as an example and to restore the nature and dry forests of the province, besides learning an organized agriculture and becoming aware of the importance of dry forests in Manabí.