ITHACA, NY—Rodrigo Ontaneda, the cofounder of an organization dedicated to protecting and preserving Ecuador’s cloud forest (high-altitude rain forest), will discuss his efforts in a free public talk at Ithaca College on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Ontaneda’s presentation, “Saving the Cloud Forest: 18 Years of Sustainability at Maquipucuna,” is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Textor 101.
Ontaneda serves as copresident of Fundación Maquipucuna, a thriving cloud-forest management reserve, educational center and ecotourism lodge in the high elevations of the Andes. Located within the Choco-Andes biodiversity corridor, Fundación Maquipucuna owns 7,500 hectares of cloud forest and manages over twice that amount of adjacent reserve lands, helping preserve the complex ecosystems of one of the world’s biodiversity “hot spots.”
Ontaneda will join with David Saiia, assistant professor of management in the Ithaca College School of Business, to discuss the college’s service learning program in sustainable microenterprise in Ecuador. Saiia has worked with Fundación Maquipucuna for the past eight years; in May 2006 he led a team of 14 Ithaca College students to Ecuador for a two-week field study experience.
The presentation will also feature Ecuadorian organic coffee—grown and roasted by Maquipucuna as a sustainable enterprise.