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close this bookUrban and peri-urban forestry in Quito, Ecuador: a case-study. (1997)
close this folder4. URBAN FORESTRY IN QUITO: RECENT AND CURRENT ACTIVITY
close this folder4.2. Urban forestry management in Quito 1990-present
close this folder4.2.2. Major social actors involved in urban and peri-urban forestry in Quito
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.2.2.1. Public Interveners
View the document4.2.2.2. Private Interveners

4.2.2.1. Public Interveners

· The Municipality of Quito, Subdirection of Parks and Gardens

Background: The administration of ex-Mayor Rodrigo Paz (1988-1992) was noteworthy for a number of significant reforms of the municipal government, including the restructuring of the local administration and the creation of the Metropolitan District of Quito. One area of special interest to the mayor was the urban environment, and in particular, the state of urban parks and green spaces throughout the city. In fact, with the arrival of the Mayor Paz, not only was there a marked change in the commitment of the public municipal sector to improving the state of the urban forest ecosystem, but the efforts of private actors in the city were also much encouraged and facilitated because of the transformation in official attitude.

Immediately upon taking office, Paz hired a new head of the municipal Subdirection of Parks and Gardens. Ingeniero Forestal Esteban Moscoso has since reinvigorated the unit with an expanded and more professional staff, and the personal desire to improve the face of parks in Quito through an extensive public art programme as well as green space reforestation and beautification efforts. During the Paz administration, the supervisory and administrative staff of the Subdirection increased from 10 to 35 individuals, the pool of contracted city gardeners grew from 400 to almost 1000, and the capital works budget of the Subdirection exceeded $US 200,000 a year through 1993 (Gangotena et al., 1990; Lopez, pers. comm., 1995; Flores, pers. comm., 1996). Also, with the help of the substantial influence of the Mayor, the Subdirection began to garner significant financial support from the private sector of Quito for tree planting and long-term maintenance of public green spaces throughout the metropolis, reaching thousands of dollars per year.

Jamil Mahuad was elected as the new mayor in 1992, and, as the candidate supported by former Mayor Paz, has been committed to carry forth many of the policies initiated in the prior administration. In the area of the urban environment in general, and urban parks and green spaces in particular, Mahuad has been a positive supporter; however, the level of his involvement has not been as intense or as personal as that experienced under the former mayor. Under the current administration, the Subdirection of Parks and Gardens has less autonomy to initiate actions than formerly. Further, in the general move toward privatization of municipal functions, the entire Direction of Public Works, under which the Subdirection of Parks and Gardens falls, has been transformed into a municipal enterprise. As a consequence, the Subdirection (which has little means to raise its own income) has not been able to maintain its personnel and operating budget, and is no longer receiving large allocations for new projects. In fact, Subdirection personnel has been reduced significantly in the last two years, to about 800 employees in 1995, and 560 in 1996. Further reductions are planned over the next four years through retirements and transfers of staff, possibly eventually leading to total dissolution of the unit as a public institution, to be replaced by city financed micro-enterprises (Flores, pers. comm., 1996). Some comments regarding the specific functions currently carried out by this unit follow:

Urban Forestry Planning: As has already been discussed, the Subdirection of Parks and Gardens of Quito participated in an extensive planning process for urban forestry within the central core area of the city in 1990 and 1991. This resulted in the collection of a considerable amount of information as well as suggestions for action which have been useful in guiding some work of the Subdirection. In particular, many of the recommendations regarding improvements in management of the city nursery, as well as species siting recommendations and other guidelines have been consistently employed as an outcome of the planning process. However, many of the other recommendations of the plan have not been followed, especially those having to do with internal administrative organization of the department, information management, and public promotion. In addition, there has been no further systematic planning for urban forestry since the project ended. The result is that a considerable proportion of the work that is currently done in urban tree planting and care is still done in response to emergencies, last minute requests of city officials, or pressure from particular neighborhood groups, and not as part of a well considered long-term plan. In mid-1995, a new staff member was hired as an administrative second-in-command to Subdirector Moscoso, who may provide needed assistance in promoting some of these administrative changes (Morales, pers. comm., 1995).

Production of Plants: One of the few areas in which planning recommendations were implemented and even surpassed by the Subdirection is that of plant production in municipal nurseries. The transformation of the two city plant propagation facilities in Chillogallo (21 hectares) and Guayllabamba (14 hectares) has been remarkable since professional foresters were hired to manage these properties in 1992. Both improved technical management and administrative procedures have been instituted, and these two nurseries now serve as national leaders in plant propagation for urban applications. Although precise figures are not available, production is estimated to have reached approximately 130,000 new trees and 70,000 other plants per year in Chillogallo, and about 20,000 trees and 60,000 other plants in Guayllabamba (Flores, pers. comm., 1995; Hernández, pers. comm., 1995). In line with recent policy, many of these trees are being kept in the nursery for two or more years to ensure they reach an adequate size for outplanting.

Costs of production in 1995 were estimated to be about $US 2.00 for a typical one meter high tree, $US 3.50 for a typical 1.5 meter high tree, and up to $US 10 for a two meter high tree. Slower growing species had a proportionately higher cost. The typical ornamental plant had a production cost of $US 1.00 or less (Flores, pers. comm., 1995).

Planting of Vegetation: A special unit of Afforestation was created within the Subdirection of Parks in 1990, consisting of a chief and team of 17 urban tree planters (Torres, pers. comm., 1995). This work group has planted hundreds of thousands of trees in Quito since 1989, unfortunately often without sufficient advance planning. A relatively small percentage of these trees have survived, especially among those planted during 1991 and 1992 as part of a poorly conceived and prematurely executed massive urban tree planting campaign throughout the city. This politically driven effort was promoted by Mayor Paz against the advice of technical staff of the Subdirection of Parks, and resulted in enormous losses of young trees which were planted too small and without adequate protection. These mortality problems have been largely resolved in more recent years, with the planting of much fewer trees per year (ca. 10,000 in 1995) of larger growing stock, and with more careful species selection. Tree survival now averages 72% at 12 months from planting (Torres, pers. comm., 1995). No exact costs of tree planting were available, but in 1996, tree planting overall by the municipality was drastically reduced in large part because of the high labor costs associated with preparing planting holes.


Photo 4.1: "Las Cuadras" nursery in south Quito - with expanded growing beds for urban tree production

Maintenance of Vegetation: Maintenance of urban vegetation in public spaces has been only fair in most of the city, and the bulk of city contracted gardeners are dedicated to grass cutting and weeding in parks and medians. In addition, in 1995, a team of 19 pruners and two assistants was devoted to tree pruning throughout the city, quite often of an emergency nature. Preventive tree pruning and fertilization are rarely done, and pest control has been nonexistent, although this is also largely unnecessary for most species. The maintenance division suffers from the same inadequate planning as other work units within the Subdirection, although some efforts have been made recently to achieve better coordination of efforts, and develop a more systematic cycle of preventive care of urban trees and bushes. However, such efforts are limited since the maintenance staff is small, and vehicles, equipment and tools are inadequate to cover the existing number of public trees, much less any new ones being planted (Morales, pers. comm., 1995). In addition, better planning and coordination has not been emphasized by Subdirection administrators. Finally, while city gardeners are starting to receive more technical training, the information received is quite basic, and does not necessarily reflect the state-of-the-art in the field of urban plant management. Further, only relatively few foreman-level employees have been provided with this training, and the level of technical capacity in urban plant care of the many hundreds of contract employees is generally minimal (Andrade, pers. Comm, 1995).

Despite these setbacks and continued need for improvement, there has been a demonstrable increase in municipal attention paid to urban vegetation within the urban core since 1989. In contrast, the peri-urban parishes have remained at a fairly constant level of public park maintenance and tree planting even under recent municipal administrations, with approximately 42 employees caring for public green spaces in these towns (Jimenez, pers. comm., 1995). The lack of improvement in these zones may be due to the fact that suburban parks have in practice been administered not by the Subdirection of Parks and Gardens, but directly by the parent Direction of Public Works, a municipal entity which clearly does not place urban vegetation at the top of its priority list. Specific costs for maintenance of urban trees or green spaces in any zone have not been calculated by the Subdirection. 13

13 Budget figures for the Subdirection do not separate maintenance activities from planting, construction/maintenance of park infrastructure, litter removal or other activities.


Photo 4.2: Municipality of Quito tree planting campaign promotion poster (ca. 1991 - it says "Let's make the commitment to plant more trees")


Photo 4.3: Municipal worker watering a park in north Quito


Photo 4.4: Municipal worker taking down a precarious eucalyptus tree using low-tech approach

Information Management: Related to the inadequate level of planning in the Subdirection, efforts to plant and manage urban vegetation in public spaces of the city are severely hampered by the lack of a good, updated, information management system. While the Subdirection has come a long way since 1989 in terms of computerized personnel and budget administration, this new technology has not been applied to the production, planting or maintenance functions of the department. Some of the mid-level staff is interested in pursuing better information management, and the Chief of the Design and Maintenance section is independently (and manually) collecting and storing inventory information on city green spaces. Unfortunately, leadership and support from the Subdirector of Parks and Gardens has been lacking in this endeavor to date (Morales, pers. comm., 1995).

Legislation and Ordinances: As part of the urban forest planning process conducted by Fundación Natura, a model city ordinance for protection and promotion of urban forestry in Quito was prepared with legal consultants. There has been no effort made on the part of Subdirection personnel to promote the passage of such a formal mechanism, or any other legal reforms related to urban vegetation. Some initiatives on the part of individual city councilors have also not yielded positive results, in part because of this lack of city staff enthusiasm.

Public Promotion and Education: The Subdirection of Parks and Gardens has been involved in the production of a few municipal publications reporting on various aspects of their programme, however, no public promotion activities per se are currently carried out by this municipal unit. There are other entities within the municipal government structure which are more directly involved in this type of activity, especially the central public relations office. In fact, the messages of caring for public parks and planting more trees in Quito have formed a significant part of the general public promotion campaign of the municipality. This campaign has included television, radio and print media advertisements as well as posters and other printed materials with broad appeal.

In addition to this effort, a staff of municipal social promoters carry out outreach and extension work on a broad range of community development issues. These social promoters have periodically worked with neighborhood residents to share information about urban trees, and upcoming tree planting campaigns. Although well-intentioned, these efforts are infrequent, are rarely accompanied with adequate didactic or promotional material, receive no follow-up, and are carried out by staff who do not have extensive knowledge of the field of urban forestry. In addition, neither in this case nor in any promotional campaigns of the city are technical staff of the Subdirection of Parks always consulted regarding the content or structure of information to be disseminated.

· Other Municipal Agencies

In addition to the Subdirection of Parks and Gardens, other units of municipal government have been very involved in the urban and peri-urban forest ecosystem. One of the most important of these is the Direction of Planning, which has had the lead role in developing and managing some large-scale projects such as the 500+ hectare Bellavista Park, or the preservation of such historically or ecologically significant sites as El Panecillo in central Quito. Unfortunately, coordination with staff from the Subdirection of Parks is often weak in these cases, and institutional jealousies occasionally get in the way of preparing and executing the best plan for each site.

Box 4.2 Major Management Issues in the Urban Forest Ecosystem - Peri-Urban Area

ISSUES

OPPORTUNITIES

CONSTRAINTS


LOW INCOME

HIGH INCOME

LOW INCOME

HIGH INCOME

Direct Management Issues

Environmental Services and Amenities

· ecotourism-related employment could be structured to Involve more local residents in the benefits of protecting certain vegetated lands In the pert-urban area
· taxes of urban core residents could fund incentive programs for rural landholders to maintain their lands In forest cover, in return for the 'environmental services received from this land
· composting facilities could be developed for the processing of urban organic waste In outlying agricultural zones, to help fertilize peri-urban agricultural and forest lands, and also serve as employment poles for lower-Income peri-urban residents

· many upper-income urban core residents are relocating in first or second homes In the peri-urban area, bringing with them their values of environmental preservation of local vegetation

· demands for low-income housing in expanding urban settlements puts pressure on traditional rural land uses of pre-existing residents
· desire for new employment In peri-urban and rural areas may be a greater priority for poorer peri-urban residents than protecting amenity benefits of vegetation which accrue mainly to residents of the urbanized core area

· wealthy landowners resent any restrictions on their ability to maximize economic benefits from their property, at the same time that vegetative land uses (e.g. agriculture, forestry) do not yield maximum profits in an urbanizing area
· pre-existing rural landowners may be more interested in working agricultural lands than In environmental amenity values of peri-urban vegetation, and at times may come into conflict with newer (urban employed) homeowners over land use

Production Forestry

· where urbanization pressures are less urgent, or where government Incentives are provided, community-based plantation forestry might be appropriate in some areas of the peri-urban zone, as a source of household products and/or for commercial production

· where urbanization pressures are less urgent, or where government incentives are provided, large-scale private plantation forestry might be appropriate In some areas of the peri-urban zone

· traditional rural forest extractive practices In peri-urban woodlands may be in conflict with urban-based preservationist values in outlying open spaces
· the spread of urbanized land uses is removing the source of many forest wood products traditionally contributing to the livelihoods of local people
· the shift in types of employment opportunities In the metropolitan area has reduced the attractiveness or need for traditional wood-product subsistence activities for some families

· even large-scale production forestry is unlikely to make enough money to justify keeping the most desirable lands in the peri-urban area out of urban uses

Agriculture

· a shift to higher value crops could provide some small rural landholders with Increased income while maintaining agricultural lands
· taxes of urban core residents could fund Incentive programs for rural landholders to maintain their lands in agricultural production, In return for the environmental services received from this land

· a shift to higher value crops could provide some large, commercially oriented rural landholders with Increased income, enabling them to maintain lands In agricultural production
· taxes of urban core residents could fund incentive programs for rural landholders to maintain their lands In agricultural production, in return for the environmental services received from this land

· traditional small-scale agricultural production has become uneconomic in some peri-urban areas where land values have risen due to urbanization pressure
· down-stream effects of urban settlements have adversely affected soil and water quality related to agricultural production
· shifting economic bases in metropolitan areas make urban employment opportunities more attractive than agriculture for many lower Income peri-urban residents

· traditional agricultural production has become uneconomic In some peri-urban areas where land values have risen due to urbanization pressures
· down-stream effects of urban settlements have adversely affected soil and water quality related to agricultural production

Indirect Management Issues

Land Markets

· the large amount of Idle land purchased for speculation throughout the peri-urban area provides 'Informal' opportunities for urban agriculture and grazing on the part of lower-Income residents

· upper-Income landowners can receive some rents from Idle parcels In the peri-urban zone through leasing lands for agriculture or forestry production until urban development occurs

· increasing land values in peri-urban zones are pushing out lower-income original residents, who are pressured to sell their agricultural lands for urban uses

· wealthy agricultural land-owners also feel economic pressure to convert their lands to residential developments or other urban uses, usually resulting in loss of vegetative cover
· the attraction of the speculative land market leads many wealthy land owners to buy up cheaper lands for development quite distant from the urban core. leading to an overall fragmentation of the peri-urban landscape

Housing

· trees and other vegetation, especially that which provides food crops, are very attractive to residents for planting m private home gardens, and tend to be cared for much more than In public spaces

· trees and other vegetation are vary attractive to residents for planting In private home gardens, and tend to be cared for much more than In public spaces

· poor urban residents spill out over central city boundaries seeking available land to construct housing, regardless of the destruction of existing agricultural or wooded lands in peripheral rural zones
· removal of vegetation is actually encouraged In some cases, since it can help to secure tenure In the case of land Invasions for new housing settlements

· as urban conditions deteriorate, relocating higher Income residences to peripheral rural zones close to the city, or locating a second home there, becomes an attractive option, leading to urbanization of formerly agricultural or wooded lands

Infrastructure

· increased construction of access roads and other facilities In peri-urban zones favors the development of ecotourism activities and greater access of the urban population to the natural areas surrounding the urban core, leading to potential employment opportunities for lower-income residents

· increased construction of access roads and other facilities in peri-urban zones favors greater access of the urban population to the natural areas surrounding the urban core. and more advocacy on the part of urban residents to protect these zones from urbanization

· In an effort to find land for housing or earn livelihoods, important watershed lands are often adversely Impacted, reducing the amount and quality of the urban and peri-urban water supply
· desire for expanded city services to outlying zones, Including roads, water systems, electricity, etc., often involves direct permanent destruction of existing vegetative cover, and indirectly encourages further urbanized settlement of these area

· In an effort to find land for housing or earn livelihoods, important watershed lands are often adversely impacted, reducing the amount and quality of the urban and peri-urban water supply
· desire for expanded city services to outlying zones. Including roads, water systems, electricity, etc., often involves direct permanent destruction of existing vegetative cover, and Indirectly encourages further urbanized settlement of these area

Industrial Development

· the provision of non-agricultural employment opportunities In the peri-urban zone may relieve pressures to expand agricultural activity Into marginal forest area and grasslands in the peri-urban zone

· environmentally aware upper-Income dwellers in the peri-urban zone may actively resist the relocation of destructive industrial activity, or insist that business owners mitigate or compensate for their negative Impacts

· displaced peri-urban agricultural workers may welcome the arrival of new sources of industrial employment, even if they are environmentally destructive
· down-stream effects from industrial expansion may adversely affect preexisting vegetative uses, Including agriculture and forestry in peri-urban zones

· industrial entrepreneurs find outlying lands less expensive and more attractive for facility expansion, leading to the loss of agricultural and forested lands In the peri-urban zone · existing wealthy landowners may seek to make the maximum profit from sale of their agricultural lands to urban uses, including relocating Industries
· down-stream effects from industrial expansion may adversely affect preexisting vegetative uses, including agriculture and forestry in peri-urban zones

The Direction of Planning has also undertaken some efforts to coordinate actions related to disaster prevention in Quito, including the landslide risk on the western edge of the city. Engineering studies on slope stabilization in the Pichincha Protected Forest have been undertaken in conjunction with city planners working in the northern sector of Quito, and with funding from the Interamerican Development Bank. Most of the interest to date has been on the construction of engineering works rather than preventive tree planting in the zones, however (Zea, pers. comm., 1995; Estrella, pers. comm., 1995).

The Municipal Water and Sewage Company (Empresa Municipal de Alcantarillado y Agua Potable de Quito - EMAAP-Q) has also been somewhat active in the peri-urban zones of the city in protecting the watersheds supplying the city. Their efforts have included some land use planning, as well as coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Armed Forces and local schools to conduct reforestation efforts in certain zones. However, inadequate staff and resources to produce appropriate tree species or execute projects on the ground have limited the effectiveness of this agency.

Some mention should also be made of the general intervention of the Mayor's office and legal staff in matters relating to the designated protection zones of the city fringe. Spontaneous housing developments, harvesting of trees, burning of grasslands and other activities are frequently denounced by private citizens and community groups to the Mayor's office. Official response has varied over the years depending on the specific case history, the particular politician involved and the lands in question, but in sum has ranged from an intermediate to weak commitment to stringently protecting the zone.

· Non-Municipal Public Agencies

Regarding other public agencies outside the municipal sphere, the national level Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), and specifically its forestry subsidiary, the Instituto Nacional Ecuatoriano de Forestación y Areas Naturales (INEFAN), still has primary jurisdiction over much of the lands designated as Protected Forest and Vegetation Areas directly surrounding the city. However, INEFAN has carried out only minimal management in these areas. In fact, the agency only has an active, ongoing programme in a single portion of protected zone, i.e., the western edge of the protected area comprised by the Pichincha Protected Forest, and even there, support is weak (Falconí, pers. comm., 1995; Galindo, pers. comm., 1995). The management plan prepared for this area in 1984 was not at all implemented, and only minimal planning for the area has been conducted since then. Specifically, plans are currently being prepared in a few upper micro-watershed areas of the Protected Forest and Vegetation zone (e.g., in the Cinto area) in collaboration with the Section of Watersheds of INEFAN (Jalán, pers. comm., 1995).

In 1995 there were three active duty forest guards and one programme chief assigned to the Pichincha Protected Forests on a year round basis (Falconí, pers. comm., 1995). These men do some outreach and extension work with local residents during the winter months, and patrol the area throughout the year. Since there is only one functioning motorcycle for the area, most of this work must be done on foot, limiting the territory which can be covered. During fire season (approximately June to October), additional personnel is assigned to patrol the area fighting grassland and forest fires (at least five men), and occasional use of a truck and a Jeep is assigned (Galindo, pers. comm., 1993). In general, the unit has received no budget for increased personnel, or investments in infrastructure or equipment for the unit, nor are any planned in the near future.

In addition to work focused in the Pichincha Protected Forest, INEFAN has participated in occasional tree plantings in watersheds both within and outside the protected zone itself. Most of these efforts have formed part of a larger, national level cooperative effort with two other government agencies. In 1981 an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) to include tree planting campaigns as an option to meet requirements for graduation from high school throughout the country. The Armed Forces of Ecuador (FFAA) signed a renewed memorandum of understanding with these two institutions in 1991 to expand and strengthen the programme. As part of this effort, numerous reforestation projects with students have occurred in both rural and urban zones of Ecuador since the 1980s, including several in the urban and peri-urban area of Quito. For example, plantings have occurred on the hill of El Panecillo in the historic center of Quito, and, more recently, forestry projects have been implemented in watersheds of the metropolitan zone (e.g., Cinto, Pita), in collaboration with the Municipal Sewage and Water Company and a local NGO, Fundación Amazonas. While a valuable educational experience, these efforts have often been hampered by inadequate planning, the use of extremely small seedlings, an exclusive focus on a few exotic forestry species and the lack of follow-up after planting. In addition to this inter-institutional coordination, INEFAN occasionally coordinates its watershed protection efforts with the national Institute Ecuatoriano de Recursos Hídricos (INERHI), but this agency is also not a key player in preventive reforestation work in these zones.

The Ministry of Education (MEC), and its more recently created subsidiary division, Nuevo Rumbo Cultural (NRC), have also been involved in the general area of environmental education for over ten years. While urban vegetation has never been an explicit focus of the environmental education curriculum, in 1993 the NRC participated in at least one tree growing classroom project with Fundación Natura and a local publisher of school textbooks (Susaeta).

Finally, the national level coordinating institution for all Ecuadorian municipalities, the Asociación de Municipalidades de Ecuador (AME), has been involved in general organizational capacity-building for municipal governments throughout the country for many years. The area of the urban environment is emerging as part of the training and technical assistance agenda of this association, but has been limited thus far to issues of water supply, water contamination, and general waste management in urban areas. Discussions over the years with environmental advocacy organizations such as Fundación Natura have elicited interest on the part of AME in expanding. efforts in the area of urban forest ecosystem management, but no action has been taken to date, in part because of lack of expertise and information in this field within the organization.

· Public Universities

Public universities in Quito (and in Ecuador in general) have had next to no formal institutional role in urban and peri-urban forestry to date. However, indirectly they have had significant influence because most of the architects, planners and engineers responsible for urban design and development in Quito were educated in these institutions. Likewise, professional foresters and agronomists working with urban or peri-urban vegetation in Quito were also largely educated in public universities. 14

14 Some foresters and planners working for the municipality were educated in other countries, although still without a strong specialization in urban forestry.

At this time there is no degree or higher education specialization offered in either landscape architecture or urban forestry in public universities in Ecuador. The two major forestry degree programmes in the country, located in Ibarra (northern highlands) and Loja (southern highlands) include no specialized coursework in urban forestry. On an occasional basis, short courses have been conducted in the Architecture Department of the Central University of Ecuador related to landscape design and urban environmental management. In addition, students from numerous disciplines (including architecture, agronomy, botany, biology, geography, sociology and forestry) have conducted independent thesis projects over the years related to either biophysical or social aspects of urban or peri-urban vegetation in Quito.

· International Public Agencies

Bilateral and multilateral government assistance or international support (e.g., from United Nations agencies) is almost universally channeled through national and local government institutions within Ecuador. To date, very little of such support has been directed in any way to the promotion or maintenance of the urban forest ecosystem in the Quito metropolitan area. The German Government's international assistance mission, GTZ, has been extremely active in all aspects of municipal administration and support throughout the country, and urban green space management and forestry is included as one of the agency's authorized activity areas. However, GTZ assistance only responds to the priorities identified by local city officials, and Quito government leaders have not solicited aid from the institution to collaborate in any activities thus far related to parks, trees or other urban vegetation issues. The GTZ forestry programme is independent of the municipal development programme, and is exclusively involved in rural forest management issues at this time.

The U.S. AID's Natural Resources Programme is likewise primarily involved in forest management in the rural zones of the country. In the mid-1980s, AID financed the preparation of the management plan for the Pichincha Protected Forest on the outskirts of the city, but their interest in the peri-urban zone has diminished since that time. Currently, they are providing extensive support of general environmental education programmes (through the local NGO, OIKOS). While these programmes definitely benefit large populations of urban students, they currently contain no materials or focus in the area of urban green spaces or vegetation (Encalada, pers. comm., 1995). Also with the assistance of the natural resource programme of U.S. AID, the U.S. Forest Service has served as a forest fire consultant to INEFAN, Fundación Natura and Partners of the Americas in the development of a proposed forest protection project in the peri-urban zone of the city (Murray, 1992). The Regional Housing and Urban Development Office (RHUDO) within AID is more directly involved in urban management issues, especially low-income housing and health and sanitation issues, but currently has no programme related to urban vegetation.

The U.S. Peace Corps began its support of urban forestry efforts in Quito in 1989, when the first volunteer was placed with the Quito chapter of the local NGO Fundación Natura. Volunteers from 1989-1995 have been involved in planning, inter-institutional coordination, training, technical assistance and coordination of tree planting programmes. The Peace Corps-Washington Office of Training and Programme Support (OTAPS) also recently financed a national level training course in urban forestry for intermediate-sized cities, which was co-sponsored by Fundación Natura.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) indirectly supported the preparation of the Quito ten-year urban forestry plan in 1990-1991, by channeling funds through the National Pre-Investment Fund of the Ecuadorian Development Bank (FONAPRE-BEDE). As already mentioned, IDB has also financed slope stabilization studies for the Pichincha foothills on the western side of the city, and recently approved a $US 20 million loan for the control of flooding and mudslides in this area. This project will include construction of infrastructure, soil conservation activities, solid waste management, and community promotion and training (El Comercio, 1996).

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization has a large programme in rural participatory forestry and agroforestry in Ecuador, but to date has not been involved in urban or peri-urban issues. Other U.N. entities, e.g. the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS-Habitat), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) likewise focus the majority of their attention in Ecuador either on rural environmental issues, or on "brown" urban environmental issues related to housing, infrastructure or services.