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Ecuador: Building ABIFs in Cosatal Marine Territories

What is at issue:

The project aims to develop efficient tools and strengthen capacity building for the regeneration of marine and coastal areas threatened by mining and agro-industrial projects, large-scale infrastructure works and land use changes. The project focuses on the mangrove ecosystem and its role in the conservation and propagation of coastal marine life. People facing these challenges include collectors, fishers and farmers in coastal marine areas of Latin America, including Ecuador and Colombia.

The ABIF methodology developed by the Association of fishermen, peasants, indigenous and Afro-descendants for the community development of the Ciénega Grande del Bajo Sinu (ASPROCIG) is the main starting point for the project. Family Biodiverse Agroecosystems (ABIFs) are living and happy spaces that use local biodiversity, ancestral ecological knowledge, science and technology.

An ABIF consists of at least 80 plant species divided into six (6) categories: Vegetables, Fruits, Protective Plants, Medicinal Plants, Ornamental Plants and Energy Plants. The arrangement of the plants allows for maximum production of biomass by using solar radiation as a basic environmental service.

These systems are known to be highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, drought, drought or flooding even from sea water. They provide food security for the family and the community and contribute significantly to increasing household income.

The methodology is fully implemented by the organisation's families and local communities. Over the past 15 years, ASPROCIG has developed and established 1,350 ABIFs in this way. The ABIFs have positive effects on, for example, the reduction of domestic violence, the cross-gender and cross-generational conservation of common resources, the reduction of agricultural pollutants entering natural ecosystems and urban-rural relations.

The Cooperatión Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Ecosistema Manglar, Ecuador (C-Con­dem) is a civil society organisation that brings together Ecuadorian coastal leaders, ecologists and researchers. C-Condem is part of the networks Asamblea de la Costa del Ecuador, Alianza Latinoamericana y del Caribe por los Territorios Marino Costeros Frente al Cambio Climático, the Global Network for Small-scale Fisheries and Slow Food.

C-Condem advocates for collective territorial rights, ecological, participatory and communal restoration of ecosystems, an own economy and food sovereignty.

What's happening now:

A methodological manual on family and collective management of coastal marine communities in Ecuador and Latin America is being developed, in which ABIFs are systematised and pedagogically prepared.

What we have achieved:

The project runs from February to May 2023.


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Who has done it:

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