The foundation in a Nutshell

We aim to create a natural reserve protected in perpetuity

Save the Paradise is a non-profit foundation operating in Mompiche, Ecuador, within the endangered Ecuadorian Chocó Forest. Our main goal is to protect the tropical rainforest of this area and save it forever.

Image of a Tagua nut, source of vegetable ivory
Tagua nut, source of vegetable ivory

Protecting rainforest, creating a wildlife corridor and working with the people

The foundation pursues ecological, economic and social projects in Mompiche, which are financed by donations and grants. Some are active, others are still in the future, but all of them aim to preserve the rainforest for plants, animals and the people of Mompiche. Here you can find a detailed description of our projects.

Buying land to protect it

The Chocó rainforest is one of the world's most threatened biodiversity hotspots. While in Panama and Colombia, this forest remains largely intact, the coastal region of the western Pacific in Ecuador has lost 98% of its original forest cover.1 2.

Map of Mompiche area with showing that in the years from 2016 to 2023 is a loss of about a quarter of the rainforest

Loss of rainforest in Mompiche from 2016 to 2023 in dark red. Yellow areas: Shrimp Pools. Light red: Farming and settlements. Green: Secondary rainforest 3.

In the Mompiche area, parcels of rainforest are frequently up for sale, often owned by local families. Companies involved in deforestation for monocultural plantations or cattle farming typically have the resources to acquire these patches. To counter this threat, Save The Paradise purchases these rainforest parcels from private landowners, using the foundation's name, and legally designates the land as an ecological reserve in perpetuity. Our approach ensures that even as the foundation becomes the landowner, the legal status as a protected area cannot be altered. This steadfast protection shields the forest and its diverse inhabitants from commercial, agricultural, or industrial exploitation, allowing for the natural regeneration and regrowth of previously degraded areas

Picture of a slash and burn action of 15 hectares right next to the foundation.

January 2023: Drone shot of a slash-and-burn operation in Mompiche over approximately fifteen acres of land directly opposite the foundation's property.

The wildlife corridor

Habitat loss an segmentation is the primary cause for biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation worldwide 1. Hence, we are actively engaged in expanding the wildlife reserve in Mompiche, Ecuador, with the invaluable support of our generous donors and strategic partners. Our ambitious goal is to establish a protected wildlife corridor, connecting various areas from the coastal region to the Ecological Reserve of Mache Chindul.This endeavor entails the construction of a bridge or tunnel spanning the 115 km length of the 'Ruta del Sol' Highway, which currently separates the coastal and inland regions.

Social and economic projects

We recognize the critical need to harmonize conservation efforts with the sustainable economic development of our local community. That's why we are wholeheartedly dedicated to creating learning opportunities that not only drive the development of sustainable projects utilizing our rich local resources but also actively promote their gradual technological advancement, ultimately positioning them successfully in the market.

1 Gonzalez, V.; Fries, A.; Rollenbeck, R.; Paladines, J.; Oñate-Valdivieso, F. & Bendix, J. (2016): Assessment of deforestation during the last decades in Ecuador using NOAA-AVHRR satellite data. Erdkunde 70(3), 217-235..

2 Salgado, J., Montúfar, R., Gehrung, J., & Atallah, S. (2023). Intergenerational livelihood dependence on ecosystem services: A descriptive analysis of the ivory palm in coastal Ecuador. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, 1-19. doi:10.1017/age.2023.21

3 Copyright of the background map: National Geographic Mapmaker. Imagery for gathering the delta in rainforest loss is provided by the Copernicus Dataspace Browser for the Sentinel satellite imagery.