General characteristics of Ecuadors Forests:

According to the document “Base line of deforestation in Ecuador” (“Línea Base de Deforestación del Ecuador Continental”) developed by the Ministry of Environment in Ecuador (MAE), “in 2008 the natural vegetation cover was 14’123.637 ha, which represents 57% of the national territory, this means that there has been a reduction of 380.045 ha in relation to the cover in the year 2000 [14’503.682 ha]. The natural vegetation can be categorised as native forest 11’307.627 ha, paramo 1’380.755 ha, shrub vegetation 1’175.423 ha and herbaceous vegetation 259.832 ha.

From 2000 to 2008 the deforestation rate was  -0,66%, which is equivalent to 77.647 ha/año.


Cover and land use map 2008



The Ministry of Environment (Spanish) is in charge of managing and administering de Ecuadorian Forests along with the National Forest Directorate (Spanish). Specifically, they are in charge of producing rules and regulations relating to the management of timber and and non-timber forest resources within the framework of national laws and legislation.

The provincial offices of the Ministry of Environment can be found in:

Azuay, Bolívar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Ríos, Manabí, Morona Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena,  Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Sucumbíos, Tungurahua, Zamora Chinchipe y Galápagos


The Ecuadorian Legislation

In 2008, the ecuadorian population aproved the Constritution of the Republic that entered into force at the end of that same year. This is the first constitution in the world that recognises the rights of nature. domain name owner Forests were declared as fragile ecosystems requiring special treatment just as paramo, wetlands and mangroves.

Forest governance in Ecuador:

Ecuador has a national forest governance policy. This document explains how forest governance is framed in Ecuador.


Other relevant legislation:

Law of Environmental Management: This law establishes the enviornmental policy principles and guideline. It sets the obligations, responsibilities, levels of participation of the private and public sector in enviornmental management as well as setting the limits, controls and sanctions in this area.

Forestry law for conservation of natural areas and wildlife which establishes aspects of the constitution where forest as a national heritage and grants powers and functions to the Ministry of Environment relating to forests and, among other things, it covers aspects about forests and vegetation as protection habitats, defines forest lands, private forests, plantation forests, forest controls and and incentives.

Sustainable Forest Management Standard for dry forest – Ministerial Agreement No. 244: the purpose of this rule is to establish regulations for the management and harvesting of dry forests in a sustainable way, recommended methods, agreements and responsibilities in the execution of management plans and conservation of ecosystem services.

Rules for the administrative procedures requires to authorise the cutting and harvesting of Timber, Ministerial Agreement No 139: The present Ministerial agreement has the objective of establishing the administrative procedure to authorise the sustainable harvesting of timber forest resources from humid forests, andean forests and dry forests; from de los cultivated forests: plantation forests, planted trees, regeneration trees in agricultural land; succession forests; trees in agroforest systems; and non-timber forest products.

Rules for harvesting of timber in cultivated forests and from agroforestry schemes, Ministerial agreement No 40: The rules in the present ministerial agreement have the objective of regulating the harvesting of wood and encouragement of management of cultivated forests and trees in agroforestry schemes and trees in regenerating forests.

Rules for sustainable forest management for the harvesting of wood from humid forests, Ministerial Agreement No 39: These rules are in reference to regulating harvesting of timber from native humid forests.

Rules for sustainable management of andean forests according to the ministerial agreement No 128: This rule for the sustainable forest management of andean forest is designed to allow the forest to persist with a logical management, therefore guaranteeing the permanent provision of primary products, goods and environmental services. website down . pdf online

This project is financed by the European Union / Este proyecto está financiado por la Unión Europea