Early December was the culmination of the Sixth Phase of funding from the United Nations Development Fund for Small Grants Programme. On December 5th a conference was held to mark its completion. One year after receiving funding, projects from the Estuario Río Chone, La Segua, and Cordillera del Bálsamo Biocorridor gave presentations about what they had accomplished during the year.
I was chosen to present about the Cordillera del Bálsamo. Planet Drum and Bosque Verde did an apiculture project to protect and conserve pollinator populations and produce honey. Cerro Seco Biological Reserve made an interpretive trail through the reserve. Reserva La Mesita built a camping area for tourists and scientific investigations of flora and fauna. Reserva Mesita – Punta Colorada built tourist facilities. Peñol del Sol Reserve rebuilt tourist infrastructure, which was damaged during the 2016 earthquake. Punta Gora Nature Reserve built a tent platform for camping.
The project also included the launching of the all-new Cordillera del Bálsamo website, which is available at: http://cordilleradelbalsamo.com.ec/ and a new tourist brochure for the Cordillera, which was designed, printed, and 1,000 copies were distributed to each reserve.
Representatives from Estuario Río Chone and La Segua also presented their projects, which included community gardens, a business selling locally produced food products such as jams and preserves, and a restaurant for the Chame fish that is farmed in the area.
After the presentations, a lunch was served and attendees had a chance to mingle with project coordinators and participants. It was a nice ceremony and a great way to celebrate a successful completion of this funding phase.
A few days later I was contacted to be interviewed for a video presentation that was being made of the project, and I went to San Vicente to describe the projects that were completed in the Cordillera del Bálsamo.