PLANTING THE RIGHT NATIVE TREES IN THE RIGHT PLACES

PROTECTING OUR NATIVE FORESTS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

HISTORY

BRINGING TOGETHER LOCAL LEADERS & COMMUNITIES

Acción Andina was launched in 2018 by Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) and Global Forest Generation. Our first meeting, on July 19, 2018, hosted by lead implementing partner ECOAN in Cusco, Peru, brought together 27 experienced conservation leaders from six Latin American countries and the founders of Global Forest Generation.

Constantino Aucca

Founder of Accion Andina

OUR VISION

RESTORING 1 MILLION HECTARES OF HIGH ANDEAN FOREST

Acción Andina maintains healthy Andean ecosystems and helps to perpetuate the ecosystem services of one million hectares of Polylepis forests and high Andean wetlands. Our large-scale restoration and conservation actions provide both economic and conservation benefits to communities. Our model and its results will be replicated in other biospheres on the planet.

Solutions

RESTORED POLYLEPIS FORESTS: OUR NATURE-BASED SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Growing at altitudes up to 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) just beneath Andean glaciers, the hardy Polylepis is the world’s highest altitude forest.  No other habitat is proportionally more important for all that it influences below.

Solutions

PROVIDING WATER SECURITY FOR LONG-TERM CLIMATE RESILIENCE

Native Polylepis forests ensure that glacial melt is captured in their watersheds and reaches not only nearby mountain villages, but also the millions of people in lowland towns and cities who depend upon it, including for agriculture.  The freshwater stored by Polylepis forests also feeds into the headwaters of of the Amazon.

 

Hard Science: with the program of spatial and temporal quantitative evaluations of water resources, after several years of evaluating the water flow of Polylepis sp. forests, we expect to show that areas with intensive reforestation have better water performance compared to areas without reforestation or with scarce reforestation. The forests of Queuña (Polylepis sp.) reduce the temperature and regulate the climate through a process called evapotranspiration, which consists of capturing CO2 particles and emitting water vapor.

Solutions

SAVING THREATENED BIODIVERSITY

Restored Polylepis forest ecosystems enable endemic species like the Spectacled Bear, Puma, and Andean condor to thrive.  These mountain forests will increasingly be a refuge for the endangered bird, mammal, plant, reptile, and amphibian species able to migrate to higher ground to survive our warming planet. 

The four-eyed frog (Pleurodema cinereum) is a small and charismatic amphibian that lives in the central Andes. The name comes from the glands on its back, which resemble another pair of eyes. This frog depends on the water sources in the mountains and is very susceptible to droughts and climate change.

Solutions

SUSTAINING ANDEAN COMMUNITIES

The indigenous people of the high Andes are highly motivated to restore their lost forests for water security. Polylepis forests prevent soil erosion and flooding, enabling indigenous communities to continue sustainable farming on their ancestral lands and to maintain their cultures. Their work as forest stewards – growing saplings, planting trees, protecting forests – provides much-needed income.

Solutions

STORING CARBON TO PROTECT THE PLANET

Existing and new growth forests are nature’s enormous carbon sinks as carbon removed from the atmosphere is stored in every part of the tree as well as its soil. Polylepis forests ecosystems also protect the carbon sequestered in their wetlands.

Approach

FROM TREE PLANTING TO FULLY FUNCTIONING FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

Vital to Acción Andina’s holistic eco-restoration approach are our on-the-ground leaders and local communities.  We are planting key native tree species where they will have the greatest environmental impact. The outcomes we seek are far-reaching, encompassing climate resilience, water security, biodiversity conservation, and enhanced community livelihoods.

BUILDING GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP

GAME CHANGER FOR
ECO-RESTORATION

Large-scale reforestation is impossible without greatly increasing leadership capacity. With sustained support, we are empowering our growing network of experienced leaders - along with a new generation of leaders - to reach their potential. Our leaders forge trusting, enduring relationships with the indigenous communities planting and protecting the forests, speaking their dialects and respecting their cultures. In Chile and Argentina, which lack indigenous communities, Acción Andina leaders mobilize volunteers from schools, businesses, municipalities, and the military.
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BUILDING GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP
FOREST & BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

FOREST & BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

We are helping indigenous communities secure title to their lands and establish protected areas for native forest. Long-term conservation of remaining Polylepis forest safeguards the habitats of threatened biodiversity. In addition to maintaining healthy watersheds and sequestering carbon, these native forests are the source of the seed stocks for reforestation.
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FOREST & BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
RESTORING LOST FORESTS

PEOPLE POWER

The people of the high Andes are planting Polylepis trees for their enormous capacity to absorb mist from clouds, even in the dry season, transforming degraded, eroded landscapes into healthy soil, streams, and wetlands. As we scale up our reforestation, we are providing jobs in community tree nurseries while employing women from the local communities to collect seeds and cuttings and to nurture the plants for the 6 to 8 months required to grow viable saplings. Hundreds of villagers of all ages come together to plant thousands of trees during community reforestation days.
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RESTORING LOST FORESTS
IMPROVING LIVELIHOODS OF FOREST STEWARDS

QUALITY-OF-LIFE BENEFITS

A hallmark of Accion Andina’s leaders is their empathy for the well-being of the communities committed to forest conservation. During the pandemic, project leaders have provided families with much-needed care packages of food and basic supplies like soap. In normal times, our leaders support microbusiness (i.e. eco-tourism and textile production), bring solar panels to remote rural villages, and replace traditional cookstoves (a leading cause of lung disease in developing countries) with clean-burning clay stoves.
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IMPROVING LIVELIHOODS OF FOREST STEWARDS
Monitoring

Monitoring

Acción Andina is developing a system with indicator metrics that reflects international best practices for conservation and restoration monitoring, economically measures the health of recovering ecosystems, and can be easily utilized by a wide range of implementers across the Andes.
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Monitoring
FORGING PARTNERSHIPS

SUSTAINABLE FINANCING FOR LASTING ECO-SYSTEM PROTECTION

As forest ecosystem restoration is an ongoing process, short-term funding cycles are insufficient. We are mobilizing support from local, regional, international, and multilateral donors and investors to scale up our work. Carbon projects, water programs and climate resilience funds offer strategic opportunities for corporations and other institutions to partner with us.
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FORGING PARTNERSHIPS

SUPPORT OUR APPROACH

Local PARTNERS

CONSERVATION LEADERSHIP

Engaging communities is key to protecting native forests.

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