Community governance to conserve water in the páramo: Water Protection Area of Quinllunga de San Simón, Bolívar

By March 2023, Ecuador will have 22 Water Protection Areas (Áreas de Protección Hídricas, APH). These spaces respond to the Ecological Transition policies, that Ministry of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition of Ecuador (MAATE) has established at national level to protect water sources for human consumption and food sovereignty, and which are threatened by the effects of climate change and anthropogenic pollution.

However, these APHs require community management with planning and implementation tools tailored to each context and needs. As part of the actions to strengthen subnational government policies, the Andes Resilientes project developed a guide on how to build Technical Management Plans that integrate climate change and gender criteria.

Gobernanza comunitaria para conservar el agua del páramo como medida de adaptación en Ecuador (Community governance to conserve páramo water as an adaptation measure in Ecuador)
©Andes Resilientes

Based on this guide, a pilot project was executed with the participation of local stakeholders in two APHs, one in Santa Elena in Cotopaxi, and the other in San Simón de Quinllunga in Bolívar. As a result, Technical Management Plans were elaborated for each APH, which include a series of projects and activities, of which two activities were prioritised for implementation in the APH of San Simón de Quinllunga in Bolívar:

  1. The Water School, which consists of training local actors, Water Boards, farmers, authorities, community leaders on issues of water source governance, handling, and conservation.
  2. The Parish of San Simón Technical Water Board, as a community governance mechanism based on the generation of social relationships between different groups to manage the implementation of the Technical Management Plan and strengthen the APH Quinllunga.

In September 2021, the Quillunga de San Simón Water Protection Area was declared; the first APH in the province of Bolívar, and the 14th APH in the country.

Meet the protagonists of this story that pursues water security:

Visibility of women in water conservation and protection – The Water School APH Ecuador (Video in spanish)
©Andes Resilientes
Calling on family farming to conserve moorland water _ The Water School, Ecuador (Video in spanish)
©Andes Resilientes
Expanding knowledge to secure water for the future _ Water School in Guaranda, Ecuador (Video in spanish)
©Andes Resilientes

Source: Regional project Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático

The regional project “Andes Resilient to Climate Change” is promoted by Swiss Cooperation (SDC) and facilitated by the consortium Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation – Fundación Avina in partnership with the International Institute Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).  Resilient Andes is part of the Global Climate Change and Environment Programme of the Swiss Cooperation (SDC).  Its first phase will run from May 2020 to April 2024.

More information:
Brochure regional Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático (Span)
Brochure Ecuador- Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático (Span)
Hoja Informativa Ecuador – Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático (Span)

FS Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático (Span)
Facebook Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático
Web Proyecto Regional Andes Resilientes al Cambio Climático

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