Andes Amazon Fund applauds the creation of the Yanuncay-Zhucay Municipal Conservation and Sustainable Use Area in Azuay, Ecuador. Established on November 9th, 2023, the Yanuncay-Zhucay Municipal Conservation Area protects 66,633 acres (26,965 hectares) of paramos, or high-altitude grasslands, and montane forests. The newly protected area is an investment in the present and future of the region’s ecosystems and the water sources of local communities and the nearby city of Cuenca.
Connecting a Mosaic of Water Sources and Endemic Species
The high-altitude paramos of the new conservation area store and supply potable water for over 180,000 people in the nearby city of Cuenca. It also increases the ecosystem connectivity of the region, as it is located between Cajas National Park and Quimsacocha National Recreation Area. The area is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna, including the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), the Culpeo, or Andean fox (Lycalopex culpaeus), the Neblina metaltail hummingbird (Metallura odomae) and several endangered species of amphibians. Scientists have also registered 74 endemic species in the new conservation area.
Mitigating Threats to Vulnerable Resources
The fragile ecosystems and water sources of Yanuncay-Zhucay are under increasing pressure from agriculture-related fires and timber extraction. The creation of the conservation area represents an opportunity to mitigate these threats and protect the present and future of the ecosystems and surrounding communities.
We are certain and confident that with this ordinance we will be able to… protect our water sources and guarantee water for many more years, for our kids, for the future.Luis Quinde, President of the Administrative Board of the Nero Potable Water Project
This conservation achievement was made possible thanks to the collaborative work of the Cuenca Municipal Government, the governments of Baños, San Joaquín, Chaucha, and Victoria del Portete, the Nero Administrative Board of Potable Water, the Commission on Environmental Management, ETAPA EP, FONAPA, and the University of Azuay. Technical assistance was provided by our partners at Nature and Culture International. Andes Amazon Fund’s financial support for this project was generously provided by the Wyss Foundation and by Art into Acres via Re:wild.
Para más información, lee la nota publicada por Naturaleza y Cultura Internacional.