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Summary

TMA and its partners are building a large-scale conservation corridor that will protect and restore one of the last remnants of the Pacific Forest of Ecuador. The project is named in honor of the Ecuadorian White-Fronted Capuchin Monkey, which is endemic to the area and critically endangered.

We’ve been laying the groundwork for this project for the past 15 years. We started by creating the Jama-Coaque Reserve, which is the cornerstone. In 2021, we secured substantial funding to begin the final push. All the pieces—personnel, expertise, organizational framework, field experience, and community standing—are in place to finish the job over the next six years. The Capuchin Corridor project is now officially underway.

  • Combines wilderness preservation with community agroforestry
  • Partially financed by direct carbon contributions
  • Lands are managed by local communities

We are actively looking for additional funders who want to help build a rainforest conservation corridor—at scale—in a global biodiversity hotspot.

Ecuadorian White-Fronted Capuchin Monkey in Bamboo Grove in Jama-Coaque Reserve

Ecuadorian white-fronted capuchin monkey (Cebus aequatorialis), photographed in a wild bamboo grove of the Jama-Coaque Reserve.

What

  • Total Corridor Area: 91,000 acres (37,000 hectares) spanning a 35-km mountain range on the Pacific coast of Ecuador, straddling the equator line.
  • Forest Protection & Restoration Zone: 24,000 acres (9,700 hectares)
  • Cost: $17 million over six years (View the budget)
  • Net Carbon Benefit: 1.7 million tons of CO2 (View the carbon calculations)
  • Cost per ton of CO2: $23
  • Water Security: Provides freshwater to 79,000 people
  • Local Jobs: Generates income for over 500 families (Learn how in this 2-minute animated video)
  • Ecological Diversity: Protects Chocó rainforest and cloud forest, moist evergreen forest, semi-deciduous forest, and tropical dry forest—all in the same mountain range.

How

  • Protect all remaining tracts of old-growth forest through purchase and/or easement.
  • Restore degraded forest in areas no longer suitable for farming and grazing.
  • Connect isolated forest fragments through regenerative agroforestry with local farmers.
  • Carbon revenue will be distributed to local communities, in the form of performance-baed PES payments, in exchange for protecting all of the forest in their home watersheds.

Capuchin Corridor Map

Why

  • By the numbers, this is the most endangered rainforest on earth: only 2% is left.
  • It is the only forest of its kind in the world, located at the heart of the Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • There is zero governmental forest protection in this area.
  • At the current rate of deforestation, all major tracts of mature forest will likely disappear within the next 20 years.
  • This ecosystem is a microcosm of the biosphere in the present era; unsustainable development has brought it to the brink of collapse. We believe our success in restoring it to health will serve as a model for other large-scale forest restoration projects across the planet.
  • This specific mountain range is one of the last buffers from extinction for the Ecuadorian White-Fronted Capuchin Monkey.

Learn More

Waterfall in the Jama-Coaque Reserve