- SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
- ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Ecuador since 1962. Currently 67 national and 10 international employees, five integrated specialists and five development workers are working in the country (as of 31.12.2018).
Ecuador is among the countries with the highest levels of biodiversity in the world. Its large number of highly diverse ecosystems forms a key basis for economic and sociocultural development in the country, on which economic sectors such as agriculture and tourism rely. The ecosystems are under threat due to climate change and environmental pollution, which means the very basis for the well-being and livelihoods of Ecuador’s population is at risk. Poorer people in particular suffer as a result of this.
Rapid urban migration in Ecuador is causing medium-sized cities in particular to grow. Until now, however, there has been a lack of sustainable urban planning strategies to manage migration from surrounding areas, leading to a high level of social inequality in towns and cities and high resource consumption and CO2 output. Urban areas are also expanding rapidly, reducing the amount of agricultural land available and harming the environment.
The priority areas of Ecuadorian-German cooperation are:
- Protecting the environment and natural resources
- Promoting the state, democracy and participation
Ecuador has a particularly high level of biodiversity and is home to a large proportion of global biodiversity. Yet this wealth is being threatened: the state of sensitive ecosystems, such as tropical rainforests, dry forests, mangroves and raised bogs, is deteriorating. Together with the Ecuadorian Ministries of the Environment and of Agriculture, provincial administrations and local authorities, GIZ is committed to protecting diversity and to taking action against efforts to build on and seal the soil, interfere with local water cycles and spread waste and contamination. The aim is to stabilise ecosystems and make people more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
This includes, for example, establishing protected areas to keep harmful human influences at bay. And in areas used by people, the aim is to apply the sustainability principle that was originally developed in forest management: Do not use more resources than will naturally regrow. Incentive schemes also support species preservation: benefit-sharing rewards those who make these resources available to others and teach them how to use them sustainably. This benefit-sharing scheme is to be funded by private companies. The partnership promotes policy skills in planning and practice, implements models aimed at climate-robust management of fragile ecosystems and enables sustainable financing.
A further focus of Ecuadorian-German cooperation is sustainable urban development. GIZ is providing advisory services to six cities in a pilot project on topics such as urban mobility and sustainable energy, security, adaptation to climate change and the improvement of residential areas.
GIZ is also developing measures in Ecuador to prevent violence against women. A regional programme for refugees is pursuing a number of goals: strengthening host communities over the long term, providing more and better options for displaced persons, more job opportunities and peaceful coexistence in communities.
GIZ is also providing support for experts returning to Ecuador from abroad to help them reintegrate into professional life in their home country.
Most of the programmes are being implemented on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the European Union are further commissioning parties.