November 16, 2011 saw the long awaited partnership between Echuya Ecotourism Association (ECOTA) and National Forestry Authority (NFA) come to life with the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

NFA Partners with local community to promote Ecotourism at Echuya Forest Reserve

November 16, 2011 saw the long awaited partnership between Echuya Ecotourism Association (ECOTA) and National Forestry Authority (NFA) come to life with the official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Since 2010, USAID-STAR has been lobbying for this important partnership as ameans of realizing ecotourism with and around Echuya forest reserve.

By this MOU, the ECOTA and NFA will among others be able to develop Eco-Tourism and nature conservation in Echuya Central Forest Reserve, Improve rural livelihoods through application and promotion of sustainable forestry enterprises, Provide for sharing of resources among parties, including infrastructure and human resources, for implementation of mutually agreed upon activities, Formalize arrangement for piloting a community based ecotourism activities within part of the buffer zone in Echuya Central Forest Reserve, Provide for the development of an enabling working environment and modalities to enhance joint planning and implementation of conservation interventions in Echuya Central Forest Reserve, Promote Collaborative Management arrangement among interest parties to ensure the health of Echuya Central Forest Reserve to provide sustainable supply of forestry goods and services to the local forest-edge communities and the general public.

To cement the partnership, NFA offered ECOTA space to construct a welcome center and camp site where they can host tourists and generate revenue to support their activities. USAID-STAR is grateful to this achievement and has already offered technical support to ECOTA.

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