Timber trees, medicinal plants, beautiful flora and fauna, and rivers free of pollution, continue to disappear in areas considered as critical in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Sucumbios.
Illegal loggers, along with their machinery and firearms, destroyed countless acres of virgin forest and instead filled them with oil palm plantations or used them for livestock.
The illegal extraction of timber and the change of usage of soil for agribusiness are mentioned as the main causes of deforestation in the country that registers within the 2000-2008 period, an average of 78 thousand hectares per year and a remainder of 11,307,627 hectares of forest.
Esmeraldas registers the highest deforestation with an average of 17,282 and 12,485 hectares per year, followed by Sucumbios (10,332 ha), Orellana (6955 ha), Zamora Chinchipe (11,883 ha) and Morona Santiago (9460 ha).
Defenders of Wildlife pronounce on the matter
- Anthropologist Natalia Bonilla, forest management specialist in Ecological Action, said that Ecuador has lost a lot of forest, so much that no remnants remain in the coast but a few located in Esmeraldas.
- Max Lascano, Socio Bosque manager, explains that the government program aims to reduce the rate of deforestation by 50% while preserving the native areas of forests and moors.
- Olindo Nastacuaz, president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities and People of the Ecuadorian Coast (Conaie), says that one can not speak of a forest protection diminishes if the illegal timber harvesting is not stopped. He therefore suggested that the Ministry of Environment to declare a ban on the trees that are in danger of disappearing.