Apr 4, 2013, updated April 2013
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that by 2025, two-thirds of the world population could live in conditions with limited access to water.
Day after day, Ecuadorian highlands and forests face a myriad of threats that hinder their natural functions and threaten their survival.
Among these threats: anthropogenic climate change, industrial agricultural and ranching practices, deforestation, water and air pollution, etc.
Large tracts of forest are cleared for agricultural purposes, as well as for the purpose of growing pastures so that livestock can graze and for the purpose of producing wood. A majority of these felled trees are not replaced; or worse yet, trees are replanted, but the species of tree planted is invasive and/or harmful to the local ecosystem, causing even further harm.
Many local populations, lacking alternatives, are pushing agriculture into the highlands (areas that were once unthinkable for agricultural purposes). Once the highland areas are farmed, the topsoil is removed, and the earth becomes dry and compact.
This past summer, the wildfires devastated 3,500 hectares of forest in Ecuador.
Through the Let’s Plant Water Program, Nestle seeks to provide tools and educational content to children. The goal is to ensure that from a very young age, children learn to relate to and understand the environment so that they use resources sustainably.
Also, Let’s Plant Water works to restore and protect areas near waterways. The program also includes reforestation projects, using native tree species, in collaboration with neighboring community members to help promote a more sustainable and collaborative initiative.
The importance of planting trees lies in the fact that these attract rain which invigorates the earth, prevent erosion, fix carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, reduce global warming and are home to numerous species of flora and fauna embellishing them.
Forests also modulate the water cycle by absorbing intense rains, improving water filtration underground and balancing out the availability of water throughout the year, similar to the way that ice and snow from the mountains do.
Value to Society
- Activation of six community nurseries that contribute to improving the quality of life of small farmers
- Identification of strategic areas that are water sources, where we have planted:
- 6,000 native trees (aliso nepalensis) in the Chaupi community - The Ilinizas
- 7,000 native trees (aliso nepalensis) in the Coellaje community – Imbabura province
- 5,000 native trees (polilepis) in the Cotopaxi National Park
- 7,500 native trees (tocte, pumamaqui, acacia, cedar and aliso) in the Agua Santa community - Chimborazo province
- In total this year we planted 25,500 native trees.
- 2,000 children participate in the educational process of Let’s Plant Water Program.
Value to Nestlé
- Relationship with 3,500 members of indigenous communities
- Alliance of cooperation with the government sector: Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education, chimborazo Provincial Council and Water National Secretary
- Contribution to environmental sustainability by planting 25,500 native trees
- In the reforestation activities we were achieved active participation of 600 Nestlé volunteers
Congratulations on this valuable initiative and for motivating collaborators to raise an awareness of respect for the divine creation. Once again, this was an enriching experience which contributed a great deal to those of us that had the privilege of sharing with the community and in the community. I hope that you will continue to provide us with the opportunity to collaborate in these initiatives; the truth is that with the affection with which we were welcomed and treated, both by you and the locals, we received more than we gave, we all came back refreshed and renewed, with pure air in our lungs and the hope of returning once again. Jorge Salazar, Zonal Sales Head, Nestlé.
We will continue with reforestation activities, the goal of planting, for the next year is 40,000 native trees and 10,000 children of public schools will be involved in the educative processes about water conservancy.
In addition, we will implement other strategies to ensure the availability of water; as water harvesting systems, drip irrigation systems and eco-efficient technologies for water use.
We will consolidate the government sector partnerships to enhance our program scope.