Acción Andina’s Lead Administrative & Implementing Partner
ECOAN (Asociacion Ecosistemas Andinos) is a Peruvian conservation non-governmental organization founded in 2001 and based in Cusco. ECOAN's mission is to provide sustainable, long-term protection and restoration of threatened Andean ecosystems in partnership with local communities and authorities. ECOAN achieves its mission through land protection and management, reforestation, community engagement, applied science, and developing long-term funding mechanisms for projects. Among ECOAN’s accomplishments are:
- A 20 year track record of community reforestation in Peru resulting in more than three million native trees planted to restore ecosystems that offset climate change, protect and create important water sources, provide habitat for endangered biodiversity, prevent erosion, and support indigenous communities.
- Ecosystem protection, restoration and management of more than 30,000 hectares (74,000 acres) of critical habitat for biodiversity and climate change resiliency identified as conservation priorities by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), CEPF (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund), and within Peru’s National Plan of Action. Species benefiting include the Spectacled Bear, Marvelous Spatuletail, Royal Cinclodes, and Junin Grebe.
ECOAN is a founder of the Acción Andina initiative and its lead administrative and implementing organization.
Acción Andina President
Constantino Aucca, President and Co-Founder, ECOAN
Constantino (Tino) Aucca, is a leading authority on community-based conservation, including the restoration and recovery of high Andes Polylepis forests. He co-founded his visionary Peruvian conservation nonprofit in 2000, which from its inception has connected the well-being of indigenous communities to enduring ecosystem conservation - from lowland cloud forests of fast-growing alders in the Amazonas to the world’s highest altitude (up to 5000 meters above sea level) Polylepis forests just beneath the Andean glaciers of the Vilcanota mountains. Under Aucca’s dedicated leadership, indigenous communities have successfully planted more than five million native trees while improving their livelihoods and conserving their water.
Tino has been a trailblazer in creating communal agreements so that responsibilities of the local communities and of ECOAN are completely clear and transparent. These agreements are based on mutual respect - with communities’ commitment to actions on the ground spelled out in return for specific assistance to improve their livelihoods.
Vilcanota Project Coordinator
Gregorio Ferro is a founding member of ECOAN. As the General Coordinator of ECOAN projects, Gregorio is the organization’s coordinator for the recovery and restoration of Polylepis forests. A biologist and graduate of the University of Cusco, he has also collaborated with international scientists in multiple expeditions studying the endangered birds of Peru. His commitment to the local communities is reflected in his ability to speak their language. Quechua helps him understand and better perform his work with the high Andean communities.
Magaly Roca is an agronomist. As a specialist in the production of native plants for agroforestry and forestry, she is focused on helping vulnerable agrarian communities struggling with poverty. Her work to increase opportunities for sustainable development includes advising community organizations on how to advance ecotourism in the Peruvian Andes.
Ecosystem Services Specialist
Jhon Steve Cansaya Carrion is responsible for Water Balance and Carbon Studies and is in charge of ECOAN’s Ecosystem Services’ Polylepis Forest Conservation Project in the Vilcanota Mountain Range. A graduate of the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the National University San Antonio Abad of Cusco - UNSAAC, he is a specialist in environmental issues related to environmental services. Jhon previously worked in botany, ecology and herpetology in the Manu National Park.
Adrian Torres Paucar, ECOAN’s Assistant Director, helps coordinate the organization's conservation and restoration projects throughout Peru. Adrian is a member of the Department of Ecology of the Natural History Museum of the National University of San Marcos, which specializes in desert, Amazonian, high Andean and montane forest ecosystems. Trained as a biologist, his studies have concentrated on plant-animal interactions and processes of ecological succession. Adrian is also a scientific and nature illustrator.