Our Partners and Colleagues
Fundación EcoMinga was established in Ecuador in 2006. This Ecuadoran foundation is dedicated to the conservation of the unique montane forests, cloud forests, and alpine grasslands (paramo) of the Andes. They focus on two principal areas, the edge of the Amazon basin in east central Ecuador, and on the very wet Andean slopes of the Choco region in northwest Ecuador. The Orchid Conservation Alliance has been a major contributor to two orchid rich reserves operated by Ecominga, the Rio Anzu and Dracula Reserves.
Lou Jost, one of the founders of Fundación Ecominga, lives in Baños, Ecuador. He has dedicated many years to the study and protection of the flora and fauna of Ecuador’s Andean forests. His enthusiasm for nature and his dedication to ecosystem preservation sparked formation of the Orchid Conservation Alliance.
Watch a video of Lou Jost’s presentation on Habitat Preservation in Ecuador.
Corporación SalvaMontes is a foundation established in Colombia in 2016, named for the Ventanas ecoregion located in the central cordillera of the state of Antioquia, Ecuador. The cloud forests of the Ventanas are noted for their fog formation and near constant heavy precipitation. It is a biodiversity hotspot for plants, mammals, birds and frogs. The Orchid Conservation Alliance was a major contributor to their La Selva and El Reposo reserves. Notably, their reserves protect all three known sites of Dracula lemurella, a very rare stand of Peristeria elata, and most of the 39 individuals of Magnolia polyhyposphila, probably the world’s rarest magnolia. This humid, cool area is home to many orchids, especially pleurothallids.
Sebastián is a conservationist, nature photographer and botanist who specializes in orchids. He is a co-founder of Corporación SalvaMontes Colombia. In addition to his work with SalvaMontes, Sebastián collaborates with the Colombian Orchid Society’s conservation efforts at the “Reserva Orquídeas” near Medellin, Colombia.
Biodiversitatis Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserve biodiversity. The team of scientists, social campaigners and environmental activists cooperate with local communities as well as with public and private sector entities.
Marta Kolanowska Ph.D.
Marta, an associate professor in the Department of Geobotany and Plant Ecology at the University of Lodz, and a specialist in the orchids of the Department of Valle del Cauca (Colombia) has headed up an orchid conservation project with the Biodiversitatis Foundation named “La Palma” with a group of local orchid conservation minded people.
Fundación Buenoy Yumartán Aldea Ecológica (BYAE)
Fundación BYAE is a coalition of people in the Sibundoy Valley, which is in south-central Colombia near the Ecuadorian border, founded in 2006. When we first met with them, they had 6 small reserves, reserves derived from farm plots that the foundation members want to preserve rather than farm. In addition, they are very active rescuing orchids from a road construction project in the mountains nearby. The OCA helped the foundation to purchase a 99 acre property above the Putumayo River, now called the Reserva Yumartan.