Sustainable and rational use of resources

Tierra de Volcán was set up in June 1999. Our dream of bringing in low impact, socially responsible tourism was welcomed as a good option for reducing the pressure on natural resources and offering alternative sources of income for the inhabitants of our destinations. Management and territorial zoning plans were drawn up in each hacienda, both for tourism and farming use.
In Hacienda El Porvenir, just 4% of the land is dedicated to intensive arable farming and cattle raising. Approximately 35% is kept as extensive grazing pastures for the cattle, implying a rational, restricted use of resources and appropriate animal carrying capacity. The rest of the land is left untouched to conserve the páramos and their wildlife.
In Hacienda El Tambo, 50% of the land is used for extensive grazing (with appropriate  animal carrying capacity) while the other 50% is devoted to conservation programmes for the páramo, wetlands and remaining native woodland.
In the Hacienda Santa Rita Private Ecological Reserve, 40% of the land is set aside for environmental protection while the used for farming.
Within our ongoing focus on conservation, we hold regular training programmes, for our staff, local landowners and inhabitants. These training courses span subjects such as the importance of the proper management of water resources, waste management and the relevance of ecotourism as an alternative source of income. Tierra del Volcan has also run programmes to put an end to the burning of the páramo and to monitor and control hunters and fishermen poaching on the property of the haciendas.
Various programmes are currently under way, such as wetland protection, condor monitoring, control of unauthorized hunting and fishing, reforestation, and support for the conservation work in Cotopaxi National Park.

400,000 native trees have been successfully planted on the northern slopes of Rumiñahui Volcano in Hacienda El Porvenir. This project dates back to 1998 and aims to recover the high Andean habitat, protect water sources, educate visitors and visited on the importance of forestry, and contribute to carbon uptake. Among the species planted in areas where there used to be high Andean forests are puma maqui, panza (polylepis) and hoja blanca.

Manejo de Desechos sólidos
We believe in setting an example from our own base and so have trained those working and staying at our haciendas on managing waste, separating rubbish, reducing it and reusing it where possible. We have also held clean-up campaigns and training sessions on the management of household, farming and industrial waste. We have brought in rules and standards, as well as signage, on issues related to waste management. Our work with local governments has helped find solutions to the problems of waste management (2006 Agreement with the Town Council of Mejía to have waste collection trucks cover the whole area of El Pedregal and the north of Cotopaxi National Park).

Apoyo al Cotopaxi National Park
We love Cotopaxi National Park and help to look after it. The projects we have done there include clean-up campaigns, monitoring and managing the wild horses grazing in the park, helping to rebuild the Northern Entrance, and laying down the path round Limpiopungo Lake (jointly with Fundación Páramo and volunteers from the University of Virginia – 2008).

Bioreserva del Cóndor
We are proud to say that we have also been part of the Parks in Peril project run by the Nature Conservancy. This aims to connect areas of high biodiversity in Ecuador, creating conservation corridors through coordinated work with the public sector and private conservation organizations.
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