HEMISFERIOS BIODIVERSITY RESERVE
Image: Whirling Phoenix
The cloud forest reserve is located in the foothills of the Amazonian Andes Forest in Ecuador.
The 2,168-hectare Hemisferios Biodiversity Reserve sits in the Humboldt Strip, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. The forests are a mix of Andean cloud forest and highland Amazon forest, which contain hundreds of native tree species, shrubs, orchids, bromeliads, ferns, lichen, and fungi. The reserve is home to animal species, such as the spectacled bear, anteater, tapir, variety of monkeys, puma, ocelot, bush dog, butterflies, bats, deers, rabbits, among others. The vast number of birds includes the tucán, águila negra, and colibrí. Read more.
While there are no community residents inside the reserve boundaries, Hemisferios University plans to extend its research to the nearby community of Cosanga.
The Legal Status
Through a public deed, the reserve belongs to Hemisferios University. The forest does not have a legal protection status under the Ecuadorian government.
Forest-positive Products and Services for Export
The reserve has facilities for retreats, conferences, group programs (30 people) and a variety of research activities, including permanent forest plots, restoration methods, silvopastoral and agroforestry. Neighbouring farmers will eventually be engaged in sustainable, forest-positive production of coffee, cacao, and other regional crops. There is also a potential for the production of other non-timber products, such as sphagnum (peat moss).
The reserve is situated in an area with great potential for eco-tourism and conservation projects. It will be of particular interest for ornithologists, entomologists and botanists, and a range of related research and academic activities.
In order to preserve the ecosystem, motor vehicles are not allowed inside the reserve and can be parked at the entrance. The retreat center is located 2 km away, about a 20 min walk along a wide footpath.