The United States extends development cooperation with Ecuador and launches initiative to conserve the Amazon

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador and Gustavo Manrique, Minister of Foreign Affairs, during the ceremony

Both countries extended the Development Assistance Agreement, and launched the SELVA project today, which focuses on the conservation of the Ecuadorian Amazon. 

Quito, June 7, 2023.  The United States and Ecuador celebrated two major advances in pursuing their shared national development interests today, jointly agreeing to extend and continue bilateral collaboration within the framework of the Development Assistance Agreement.  This agreement establishes the conditions of the projects led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on environmental conservation, economic inclusion, and citizen participation. The official event was attended by Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Ambassador of the United States to Ecuador, Gustavo Manrique, Minister of Foreign Affairs, among other authorities.  

In addition, the Government of the United States launched the “Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment for a Vital Amazon” (SELVA) project today in Coca, to reduce agricultural expansion in forests and recover forest cover, through joint effort with indigenous peoples, communities, and farmers. This initiative, under the same Development Assistance Agreement, aims to implement sustainable agriculture, forest restoration and conservation in the Amazon region. SELVA will benefit more than 3,000 members of the Siona, Sekopai, and Kichwa indigenous nationalities and local communities living in the Cuyabeno reserve. 

The program will be implemented through USAID and implementing partner World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  SELVA will be implemented in Sucumbíos and Napo with the aim of developing local governance capacities and promoting profitable and sustainable livelihoods for indigenous peoples and local communities to efficiently manage their natural resources.  

The project will protect 213,631 hectares of forests and establish sustainable land management practices within indigenous territories, maintaining carbon stocks and thus supporting Ecuador to comply with its National Biodiversity Strategy.  SELVA has a budget of more than $11 million and will be funded until the first quarter of 2028. 

The SELVA launch ceremony held in Coca, was attended by Daniel Sánchez-Bustamante, Director of USAID in Ecuador, Tarsicio Granizo, Director of WWF Ecuador, authorities, and members of the participating communities. 

These actions show the close relationship and cooperation that exists between Ecuador and the United States on issues of development, environmental conservation, and cooperation between civil society, the public and private sectors, and local communities.