Empowering Changemakers

Reforesting Northern Ecuador

Project summary

In order to counter the devastating effects of deforestation and unsustainable agriculture in Northern Ecuador, such as desertification and nutrient loss in soils, OneAction commits to reforesting and restoring abandoned farmlands.

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Empowerment, Environment

Project duration

Project renewed each year


Direct: 92 persons involved
Indirect: 1,700 members of the communities of Morochos and Pucará


CHF 15,000 per year


The northern Ecuadorian Highlands and the western slope of the Alto Chocó ecosystem, one of the ten most biodiverse in the world, are threatened by unsustainable land use. Morochos' ecosystem, located above the city of Otavalo, was once covered with forests and has now become arid due to large scale deforestation and the negative impact of agriculture that is working its way slowly up the mountains, leaching out the soil’s nutrients and leaving behind sandy, dusty soil that is devoid of nutrients.


Our partner

OneAction is collaborating with CanopyCo, a local organization founded in 2008 with the aim of tackling climate change by replanting forests in favour of the atmosphere, the Ecuadorian fauna and flora, as well as local communities. In order to preserve the original ecosystems and reconstitute the region's biodiversity, CanopyCo sets up tree nurseries with tree species adapted to the local climate and vegetation. The reforestation projects are carried out in areas where the communities have expressed the will to be involved in these activities. In these targeted regions, the organization raises awareness and trains communities in reforestation and agroforestry techniques. 


The project

OneAction and CanopyCo are reforesting and restoring abandoned farmlands in the areas of Morochos and Pucará to prevent nutrient loss in soils. The local communities are directly involved in the project. The tree nurseries managed by the community creates jobs for the locals and provides saplings for farmers. Furthermore, several community members participate in planting trees on the selected lands. To guarantee the fruitful development of the trees and to adopt new techniques adapted to the local environment, CanopyCo and OneAction are regularly gathering data on reforestation sites, including on survival rates.

OneAction recently launched a partnership with the company Expedismart, to multiply our reforestation efforts and to guarantee the project's sustainability. Expedismart, a parcel shipping company based in Geneva and wishing to limit its environmental impact, is now offering the possibility to its clients to donate 1 CHF on each parcel shipped. This donation is automatically doubled by Expedismart in order to plant a tree within the context of our project in Ecuador.



Expected results

  • Ecosystems are restored and biodiversity is protected in the targeted regions, thanks to, among other things, the planting of indigenous species and the creation of biological corridors for the fauna;
  • Soils are enriched and fertilized;
  • Aquifers are replenished;
  • Jobs in tree nurseries are stabilized ;
  • Sustainable agriculture techniques are adopted by farmers.


  • Creation of a movement of solidarity around reforestation, thanks to awareness campaigns;
  • Providing any interested individual or institution with the opportunity to plant trees in exchange for a certificate; 
  • Concluding long-term partnerships with various companies to bring the project closer to self-sufficiency.

Projects   reforesting northern ecuador   testimonial

"We plant trees to protect the local ecosystem of the Cotacachi mountains and to make sure that it doesn't disappear".

Elena Perugachi, Tree nursery worker

Some facts and figures about the project


  • Since 2014, 2 hectares have been reforested;
  • Objective : to plant approximately 10,000 trees per year on 12.5 hectares.