An ecological fund without precedent created in Ecuador

On March 18, 2005, two agreements were executed marking the beginning of the EcoFund Project, a US$16,930,000 ecological fund that will be invested in conservation programs. This unprecedented investment in Latin America constitutes fundamental support to the people whose security and future depend on the integrity and good handling of the ecosystems.
The EcoFund was established to support local and community efforts directed to preserve and conserve Ecuador’s natural heritage through co- financing of programs and projects in selected areas. Several Ecuadorian environmental organizations participated in the preparation of the agreements.
OCP Ecuador S.A., a private Ecuadorian company, and Canada’s EnCana Corporation, are interested in supporting projects for the preservation of the environment in Ecuador. For this reason, they created an independent entity named EcoFund Foundation Ecuador, which shall be in charge of supporting and supervising specific environmental projects. Additionally, the EcoFondo Ecuador Trust was created by OCP and EcoFund to handle contributions from OCP in Ecuador.
An agreement was reached to select the National Environmental Fund (FAN) as the appropriate organization to direct and administer the performance of environmental projects that the country currently requires. FAN is a recognized Ecuadorian non-profit institution, the purpose of which is the protection, conservation and enhancement of natural resources and the environment. Within this structure, FAN will contribute its skills to reach the conservation goals of EcoFund.
FAN shall, in turn, seek alliances with other recognized environmental organizations to give the necessary support to conservation projects. The coordination with FAN shall last an initial term of five years, and may be extended up to 18 years, which is the total term of the EcoFund. Funds

may be used directly for conservation, as well as for training and research.
The fund shall be used fundamentally to support conservation projects in the areas of influence of the heavy crude oil pipeline, in addition to other conservation plans. The EcoFondo Ecuador Trust shall be responsible of disbursing the funds to support EcoFund’s activities. Together with EcoFund Foundation Ecuador, they will periodically transfer funds to FAN for the conservation projects during the term of the agreements.
Some of the areas expected to benefitfrom the fund will be the Cayambe- Coca Ecological Reserve, Antisana Ecological Reserve, Pululahua Geo- botanical Reserve, the Mindo area, High Basin of the Guayllabamba II River, San Francisco Protective Forest, Milpe Pachijal Protective Forest, Cumanda Protective Forest, Limoncocha Biological Reserve, among others. It is expected that other NGOs and other eligible organizations will submit proposals to FAN which, if approved , will also benefit from this fund. FAN will soon publish the requirements for the rating of projects.
The EcoFund becomes one of the largest funds designed to promote conservation in Ecuador and in South America. In this manner, OCP Ecuador S.A. and EnCana Corporation continue their contribution to the country, not only developing and transporting oil but also conserving resources towards progress and development.

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