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Hero of the Ecuadorian Rainforest

It is with great sadness we share the news that José DeCoux, founder and manager of the Los Cedros Cloud Forest Reserve, NW Ecuador, a partner project of Rainforest Concern for many years, has passed away this week.

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José was a passionate defender of the 4,800-hectare reserve since its creation in the 1980’s, the majority of which is still primary forest. Los Cedros, home to many critically endangered species, also became his home. Managing the Los Cedros Research Station, José welcomed many scientists and volunteers who carried out important studies on the incredible biodiversity there. José’s dedication was unparalleled, and he fought continuously to protect the forests from illegal logging, squatting and mining. His work there, spanning several decades, led to Los Cedros being declared as a protected forest in 1994. José was also instrumental in the recent historic victory, where the constitutional court of Ecuador banned extractive activities in the Los Cedros protected forest, based on the rights of nature, setting a huge precedent for other protected forests.

His remarkable contribution to conservation will have a lasting impact and legacy for generations of people and wildlife to come.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Jose’s family and friends, the people at Los Cedros and all those who have worked with him.

For more information on Los Cedros please click here.