The global spread of the COVID-19 virus is presenting an unprecedented challenge to our societies. Never before, were we humans so connected around the world, but also so dependent on each other. We have seen heroic acts of solidarity and sacrifice amongst those who work in the health systems and those who take care of sick family and friends. We have likewise witnessed the tragic impact of shortsighted policies that cost lives.
Challenging times have always been an opportunity to show what makes us human, protecting the most vulnerable of our societies and our environment. At Jocotoco we strive to do exactly that. We quickly adopted the work from home rule for our office and closed the reserves to the public in order to protect everyone. Likewise, we interrupted our work with communities to avoid spreading the virus. Yet, and since our beautiful reserves are among the safest place on the planet, our conservation work continues within our reserves. Conservation is caring for the most vulnerable of our society, ensuring that our planet remains inhabitable, beautiful and diverse (!) for the next generations, who either do not have a voice yet, or have a voice but not the power to directly produce conservation outcomes.
Enormous challenges lie ahead. While the economic downturn in industrial societies produced less pollution, the combination of a complete standstill of tourism and low oil prices means that logging and hunting will increase in rural Ecuador. Our Jocotoco family is preparing to avoid that nature is hit even harder.
I would like to thank all of you for supporting and following our work. Your interest testifies that we are all connected to each other and to the nature that surrounds and nourishes us. Conservation at its best is the exact opposite of shortsighted and egoistic behavior.
Please stay safe and come to visit us, when the emergency is over.
Dr. Martin Schaefer
CEO Fundación Jocotoco