Saving the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador

Partner since 2020


The Chocó rainforest is one of the five most threatened biodiversity hotspots globally. Unplanned deforestation by smallholders and large corporations is quickly changing and endangering the rainforests in Ecuador and its economy. To protect the Choco, Fundación Jocotoco acquires plots of pristine forest, forest that has been selectively logged and pastures to combine them into one large contiguous area, the Canandé reserve.
Since 2016 Jocotoco has quadrupled its protected areas in the Chocó which now cover approximately 8,000 hectares of wet rainforests in north-western Ecuador.

By acquiring and managing land as biological reserve, the aim is the conservation and restoration of the Chocó ecosystem. The area holds viable populations of key endemic and threatened species, such as white-lipped peccaries, jaguars, and critically endangered brown-headed spider monkeys. Without expanding the protection however, the intact rainforest will be gone in a few years. With protection a diverse forest thrives, consisting of a good mix of pioneer and climax tree species.

By buying an additional 24,000 hectares of Chocó forest, its long-term ecological survival can be ensured. This way the Jocotoco Canandé Reserve can be connected with the government-owned El Pambilar Wildlife Refuge and the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve. By connecting these three reserves and the nearby Cachi Indigenous reserve a protected area of more than 470,000 hectares will be created.

Working towards

Buying 24,000 hectares of Chocó forest to ensure its long-term ecological survival.


Acquire and partially restore 2,100 hectares of the Chocó rainforest in Ecuador that connect the Jocotoco owned Canandé reserve with two protected areas and an indigenous reserve.

Dung beetles, ants and restoration

“If we can preserve the networks of interacting species, tropical forests will recover and often surprisingly quickly so. These networks are the backbone of life on earth.” A conversation with Martin Schaefer, CEO.

– cordillera de Canande vista hacia el noreste, hacia Cotacachi Cayapas © Jorge Anhalzer
– Boana picturata © Damien Esquerre
– brown-headed spider monkey © James Muchmore
– Ecuadendron acosta-solisianum © Michael Moens-Canande