ECOAN contributes to the conservation of biological diversity and works in direct collaboration with local communities and authorities, key allies in the implementation of conservation strategies for the planet.
To conserve endangered species of flora and fauna and threatened ecosystems through the protection of biological diversity and the sustainable use of natural resources, in an environment of participation and mutual compromise between authorities and communities on a local, national and regional level.
ECOAN is an organization which is solid, stable, self-sustaining in its internal functions; recognized at a local, national and international level as a leading institution; serious, responsible and reliable in fulfilling its mission.
Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos
Regardless of origin, race or economic status, we always seek to be the best in everything we do, which personally led me to one day facing the biggest challenge of my life, which in turn led me to meet my mentor. In 1989 Dr. Jon Fjeldsa was looking for an assistant who spoke Spanish, Quechua and English, and who also had birding experience to visit some areas that were in the terrorism zone between Ayacucho and Apurimac. I accepted this challenge without thinking twice, because I knew there would never be another opportunity like this again. During these three weeks I learned a lot about many subjects related to biology and in the end Dr. Jon Fjeldsa asked me not to abandon this passion for Polylepis (Queuña) and the Andean ecosystems. Ten years of effort and hardship passed, with minimal budgets, and I summoned Gregorio Meza to be part of my expeditions to the Cordillera Vilcabamba along with Efrain Samochuallpa. They joined me during many days in the mountains exploring queuña forests, and realizing that the work needed more effort we recruited Wily Palomino. They were amazing and together we spent a number of years visiting the mountain ranges of Vilcabamba, Vilcanota and Apurimac, collecting biodiversity data for Polylepis and other species typical of our Peruvian Andes. At the same time we all did different side jobs to survive, since science in those years was not profitable. In 1998 we finally got some funding and began to realize our dream in Abra Malaga (Cordillera Vilcanota). Unfortunately, this was a disappointing experience in which the NGO who lent us their account for these funds ended up taking most of it for their internal operations, which made it necessary for us to create the Association of Andean Ecosystems (ECOAN) so we could manage our own funds and conditions. On my first computer we wrote the bylaws and rules that have shaped the institution for many years. In the year 2001 Mr. Mike Parr came to us from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC), through recommendations from friends and from our mentor. ABC was seeking a partner to fulfill its mission and objectives in Peru that were strikingly similar to those of ECOAN. We told him: "We have every ambition and capacity for this, but at this time we don't even have enough money to cover the coffee." After three months the first disbursement came from ABC to open our office and develop this dream, which since 2001 has benefited thousands of families and protected a number of species. Thank you very much to all our partners, donors and employees. Two pillars have made it possible for this institution to move forward which are the trust and support of our families and all the support and confidence of local communities to carry out this lifelong dream.