Ecuador is a rich country when it comes to biodiversity. Even though
Ecuador is only the size of the state of Nevada, its biodiversity exceeds
the one from the United States in total. According to the World Resource
Institute Ecuador is one of the few countries on earth categorized as
"megadiverse," owing to the variety of its ecosystems and species.
Within three hours, you can drive in Ecuador from arctic tundra to
sweltering beaches, from a temperate pine forest to a tropical wet forest,
from a desert landscape to wetlands filled with mangroves. Ecuador is
also the most ethnically diversified country in Latin America, a home to
large Arab, Asian, Caucasian, African, and Jewish populations. In the
Native Indian population, one can find tribes living in very primitive
conditions, from those who were recently head shrinkers to the most
entrepreneurial otavalenos, known around the globe for the quality of
According to the Natura Foundation, an environmental non governmental organization
(NGO), approximately 50 percent of Ecuador is suffering from various
degrees of soil erosion, and deforestation is 45 percent in the lowlands,
48 percent in the highlands, and 8 percent in the Amazon basin.
Thousands of acres of forest disappear daily, despite laws that prohibit
the cutting down of trees and the exportation of wood. It has been
calculated that deforestation amounts to 680,000 acres per year
(approximately 2,000 per day), and in less that forty years not a single
forest will remain.
We can certainly say that biodiversity in Ecuador is decreasing rapidly.
Several aspects of the society are to blame. Mainly the lack of
enforcement of laws and the corruption by the government seem to have
a great affect on the preservation of the countries most valuable
treasure. The lack of insight in small communities who own large parts
of natural habitat of animals is also a threat. Preservation of the
biological diversity can be achieved by educating these communities
and stimulating ecotourism, or sustainable development.