The area of conservation and sustainable use “Yunguilla” is the result of a long process of community organization and conservation work which began in 1995 with national and international ONGs. At the beginning, between 1995 and 2000 there was a process of learning and training in order to change the way we used our natural resources and to organize our community. In the year 2000 we were empowered as local stakeholders by the creation of the Yunguilla Corporation, this gave us the legal framework we needed to continue. Without help from other organizations we managed our own activities and developed sustainable alternatives, where we, as the principal local stakeholders took control of the processes. In 2008 we applied for a project with Ecofondo and in 2010-2012 we were able to execute the project and started to make the ACSU (Area of conservation and sustainable use) a reality as a conservation strategy and as a way to strengthen the model of local, sustainable development that we want to implement in the zone. That means that this is an area where many activities can be carried out; activities related to conservation, agro ecology, scientific research, landscape regeneration, park keeping and of course, community tourism.
In 2013, Yunguilla was declared an area of conservation and sustainable use by the environmental secretary of Quito city council and so 3000 hectares around Yunguilla no have official environmental protection. Since the declaration we have been able to work on many aspects of the management plan and at the moment we are working on a proposal to extend the area and include 5000 hectares more.
The cloud forest is a threatened eco system that is important for its populations of orchids and bromelias and its natural beauty. Yunguilla is found in the Andes-Tropics hotspot, which means that we are in one of the most bio diverse places in the world. Also we are found right in between 2 IBAs (Important Bird Areas), the IBA of the western Andean slopes and the IBA Maquipucuna- Guayllabamba. Finally, the zone of the upper river basin of the river Guayllabamba, where Yunguilla is located, is an important zone for its environmental services and for being the source of hydrological systems that flow into the Pacific Ocean. The conservation efforts in Yunguilla contribute to the maintenance of this important eco system.