Fondo para la Protección del Agua (FONAG) was launched in 2000 to create sustainable water conservation areas capable of providing sufficient water for the growing population of Ecuador’s capital, Quito. The Water Protection Fund FONAG ensures that safe drinking water is available for the 2.5 million people living in Quito while protecting biodiversity by conserving and restoring forests and wetlands. These activities are implemented in 600,000 hectares (almost 1.5 million acres) in the five cantons of the Pichincha province, as well three cantons in the Napo province, in which 150,000 hectares (370,600 acres) are designated as prioritized headwater sources.

Central to FONAG’s integrated water resource management and its partnership with Acción Andina is ecosystem restoration. This includes the conversion of exotic species forests to forests of native species, and the recovery of high Andean forest soil and ground cover. FONAG’s holistic approach includes strategic land acquisition, the restoration of wetlands and degraded forests, and impact and evidence monitoring. FONAG also conducts capacity-building events with community members, as well as students and the general public, which it considers essential to long-term nature conservation and water availability.

Restoration Leaders

Silvia Salgado

FONAG Vegetative Cover Recovery Program (PRCV) Coordinator

Silvia studied Biological Sciences at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. Her thesis focused on the ecology of Polylepis incana and Polylepis pauta. For most of her career, Silvia has been a researcher in botany of the páramos — a moorland ecosystem — working on taxonomy, ecology, and conservation of the flora of the Ecuadorian high Andean forests and páramos. More recently, Silvia has been the coordinator of FONAG’s Vegetation Recovery Program, where she applies her scientific expertise to conservation and restoration projects in high Andean ecosystems. Passionate about this field, Silvia continues to learn about the dynamics of ecosystem change to accomplish her personal goal of applying this knowledge to the effective recovery of degraded ecosystems.

Juan José Herrera

FONAG Vegetative Cover Recovery Program (PRCV) Environmental Technician

Juan José, who holds a degree in Environmental Engineering from the Universidad Técnica de Ecuador, works to restore native Polylepis forests Northeast of Quito. He is also involved in ecological restoration projects, including other native species of the high Andean páramo ecosystems as well as and in the cloud forests northwest of the capital. He works closely with local native plant nurseries to assist in the mass production of plants required to carry out large restoration projects, including community-owned plant nurseries as an environmentally responsible production alternative.

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