June 2018

Ecuador, although a relatively small country, has some of the world’s most biodiverse areas – from the Amazon rainforest and the Andean mountains out to the Galapagos Islands. According to its o cial tourism agency, it is home to 18 per cent of the world’s bird species and orchids, ten per cent of the world’s amphibians and eight per cent of the world’s mammals.

But, this unique ecosystem is under threat from intense oil exploration, agriculture and expansive mining. Canopy Bridge, a non-pro t network based in Quito, aims to prevent the irreversible changes. It is connecting indigenous farmers with buyers from the city and runs many educational programmes promoting better environmental considerations for both Ecuadorians and overseas visitors.

Quito is also the brain of what you could call the “Silicon Andes” – a hub for technological innovation and knowledge-intensive businesses. The Yachay Tech University, with a campus just outside the city, is part of this government project. The idea is that the university uses its $400 million annual budget to collaborate with public and private research institutions.

To find out more, read our cover article, describing the new policy of Ecuador, as well as reporting on its economy and cultural phenomena. I was especially interested in the information that in the past year there was a real crop of food and beverage startups in Quito, particularly those ones manufacturing craft beer and chocolate. Enjoy your reading!

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