Articulation of community monitoring and surveillance initiatives

Authorities and officials from the Undersecretariat of Natural Heritage, together with representatives of cooperation organizations that support community monitoring and surveillance of natural resources and Confeniae, met on October 31 and November 1 in Quito for the National Workshop on Community Monitoring and Surveillance, with the objective of articulating community monitoring and surveillance initiatives for natural resources, with a view to strengthening public monitoring policies.

Participants in the event had the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned from different monitoring initiatives developed at the national level, identified synergies between the proposals that were presented and agreed on basic guidelines that will contribute to the consolidation of the national community monitoring system developed by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition (MAATE).

Carlos Ponce, director of the Forestry Directorate of MAATE, mentioned the importance of having these workshops to share experiences, and indicated the intention to support these spaces: "At MAATE we want to support, and be supported, to make a knowledge minga (gathered effort) to link ties", and pointed out that, although this workshop is a first meeting at the level of community monitoring, he suggests that they be implemented again to see how to link knowledge. 

Ponce referred to the importance of linking processes in a shared manner among diverse actors: "With MAATE we are promoting ecological transition issues, especially in politics, to link these processes not only from an authority point of view, but also at the local level, for territorial surveillance and shared governance".

Thanks to community monitoring, it is possible to implement actions to help reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation, prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and promote sustainable use, management and territorial governance.

Nanki Wampankit, leader of territories, natural resources and environment of Confeniae, recalled that the monitoring process is inherent to its existence: "that is why we are here today to discuss, work, articulate and bring a clear idea of where we want to go".  Wampankit added that monitoring is not only gathering information but also demonstrating what is happening and that is why, in the Amazon region, Confeniae has carried out this process and has sought to recognize that the organizations implement this monitoring".

Community monitoring makes it possible to identify changes in the forest. The information collected in the different ecosystems is very useful for making decisions aimed at the care and sustainable management of natural resources. 

Carmen Josse, executive director of Fundación EcoCiencia, commented: "we have an Amazon with a very important forest cover, and it is our greatest commitment as a country to conserve it, for several reasons: not only because of the commitments that the country has acquired for biodiversity or climate change issues, but mainly because of the ecosystem services that the Amazon provides in every sense, not only to the country but also to the world, but mainly to those who live there".

Josse recalled that the pressures will continue to increase, for which new collaborative ways of monitoring the resources of the Amazon forests must be thought of, such as the processes that the Amazonia 2.0 project has been carrying out.

The workshop was held as part of the closure of the Amazonia 2.0 project, a collaborative initiative led by IUCN-South and supported by the European Union in six project partner countries.