These actions will benefit 11,873 people in the provinces of Santa Elena, Pichincha, Azuay, El Oro and Zamora Chinchipe.
Pichincha, Ecuador: The Ministry of Environment and Water, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have provided USD $299,229.50 for the development of six projects to reduce pollution generated by chemical substances, specifically persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury. The projects will be implemented by women's mineral selection associations and mining associations, academia, and Decentralized Autonomous Governments.
The selected proposals will directly benefit 11,873 people. Implementation began in August and will last an average of one year. Paulo Proaño, Ecuador’s Minister of the Environment and Water, stated that the objective is to reduce the excessive generation of hazardous waste that negatively impacts the country’s resources. He also stressed that the success of this proposal is that it “responds to the needs of the community and seeks to empower its capabilities.”
One-third of the funds ($100,000) will be invested in areas linked to mining in Azuay and El Oro, through family gardens and the provision of equipment for a goldsmithing workshop. $49,982.40 will be dedicated to the removal of hazardous chemicals to be carried out through an investigation of impacted rivers in Zamora Chinchipe.
Twenty-two percent of the funds ($65,000) will be used to improve integrated solid waste management at the open-air dump located in La Libertad canton, Santa Elena province.
Meanwhile, 12% ($35,000) will be invested in strengthening capacities for fire prevention in Cayambe and Zaruma, in the provinces of Pichincha and El Oro, respectively, in strategic areas located near protected areas.
In addition, $49,247.12 (15% of the funds) will be invested in Pichincha to provide a space for raising public awareness to encourage the use of organic waste, the use of biological fertilizers and the planting of vegetables and/or fruit in urban gardens under the "Quito Free of Trash" program at a site provided by the Municipal Solid Waste Management Company (EMGIRS, in Spanish).
Matilde Mordt, resident representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), stressed that “there is an increasing sense of urgency to change our consumption and production patterns.” The representative emphasized the importance of contributing to and accompanying social and environmental initiatives that have an impact on the sustainable recovery of the country and the promotion of gender equality, which are priority components in the selected projects.