General Motors Company

Quito

Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

Certified through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
Paramo Conservation Awareness Raising
Training
Andean Bear Conservation program
Mammals

About the Program

GM Quito, in partnership with the Fondo para la Protección del Agua (FONAG), executes an integral conservation management program in Ecuador's Paluguillo area northwest of Quito. The 2,000-acre area serves as an ecological corridor between two important National Parks: Ecological Reserve Antisana and Cayambe-Coca National Park, generating a suitable ecosystem for endangered species such as the Andean bear and mountain tapir. Known as a paramo, this alpine shrubland ecosystem is found only in the Andean zone and plays an important role in the water cycle in the region, feeding into rivers in the Amazon lowlands. Paramos are a predictable but extremely sensitive water storage system and the team seeks to protect the ecosystem through management, monitoring, research and public education.

Practices and Impacts

  • In 2019, GM planted native species such as incana, jata, paramo chilca, ivilan, paja and achupalla (a favorite food for Andean bears) to help mammals find resources within the ecological corridor and away from the highway.
  • The team has provided conservation education to over 570 GM employees, educators, and other community members through a unique training program combining the historical and cultural importance of the paramo with hands-on citizen science activities.
  • Participants engage in soil and vegetation sampling, watershed education, and storytelling to promote a connection with nature.
  • By teaching the local community about the threats identified for the ecosystem including cattle raising, tourism, agriculture, water demand, and destruction due to highways implementation and extractive activities, the team hopes to change public perception and treatment of the paramo.
  • Partners include a water conservation organization, habitat and community outreach consultant, and government environmental and education agencies.

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