With more than 170 participating countries and over 1500 project submissions annually the Energy Globe Award is today's most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. Award ceremonies are held all over the world. Prominent personalities as well as Energy Globe Ambassadors in 90 countries support the mission of Energy Globe. The activities of Energy Globe attract worldwide media attention - international TV stations report each year with approximately 1,000 hours of broadcasting time. The aim of the Energy Globe is to raise global attention on sustainable, everywhere applicable environmental solutions and to motivate people to also become active in this area.
National ENERGY GLOBE Award 2015
Fundación Cordillera Tropical is implementing a program that engages private landowners in forest conservation and pasture restoration in the buffer zone of Sangay National Park. Over the past two years, improved road access has deepened regional economic ties, allowing milk trucks access to this once isolated region. In response, landowners are expanding pastures into native cloud forest adjacent to the Park. Research shows that local production conditions are marginal and make no net contribution to the family’s income, while at the same time causing considerable impacts on water quality, in addition to loss of top soil and forest habitat. The foundation’s approach is to restore and protect invaluable environmental services for coming generations, while assisting local ranchers achieve a dignified income. To meet this goal, they are promoting the adoption of sustainable ranching practices. Never before used in southern Ecuador, these techniques incorporate trees into grass pastures. Forage trees provide better overall nutritional benefit to cows than grass pastures, suggesting that planting trees is a better economic investment than clearing forest for new pastures. The trees also slow the loss of fertile top soil; sequester atmospheric carbon in their leaves, branches, and roots; and provide habitat for local wildlife. In 2014, Fundación Cordillera Tropical developed four demonstration plots promoting these sustainable ranching practices on private property. Together with local landowners they planted 13,000 native trees that serve as forage banks with diverse, high-protein tree and perennial plants, wind breaks, living fences and edible hedges. Each of these silvopastoral techniques aims to improve milk and beef production by providing improved animal nutrition, while also restoring important environmental services. In exchange for the adoption of forage trees in grass pastures, landowners receive materials and training to improve their production. The ultimate program goal is to slow the advance of the ranching frontier by transforming ranching practices, making them environmentally and economically sustainable for small landowners in their existing pastures.
I believe that climate change is the most important issue of our era.
In Latin America cattle ranching occupies 26% of the land surface and is strongly associated with deforestation. The expansion of cattle pasture through biodiverse tropical montane forests constitutes a grave threat to the Tropical Andes’ rare, endangered and endemic flora and fauna. If current trends persist, ranching will continue to expand through these biodiverse forested landscapes. This year´s National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in Ecuador is implementing a program that engages private landowners in forest conservation and pasture restoration in the buffer zone of Sangay National Park. Congratulations to your achievements!