September/October 2015 Newsletter:

An Update on Conservation in the Andes

By Michael Melampy, NEOSC Rainforest Chairperson

Martin ZorrillaThe NEO Sierra Club Rainforest Committee, in collaboration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden and Baldwin Wallace University, is sponsoring another lecture in its series on conservation in Colombia and Ecuador. On September 16 and 17, the Committee will host Martin Zorrilla who will make a presentation entitled, “Mining in Intag Ecuador: Community Resistance, Threatened Ecology & the Myths of Progress.” The presentation will be made at the following times and locations:

  • Sept. 16 – Baldwin Wallace University, Surrarrer Auditorium, Telfer Hall, 4:15 PM.
  • Sept. 17 – Cleveland Botanical Garden, 7:30 PM.

On both dates, the presentation will be free and open to the public.

Mr. Zorrilla is a native of Ecuador’s Intag region where his parents operate a cloud forest reserve. He holds an undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in entomology from Cornell University and currently is coordinator for Cornell’s Intag Program. His presentation is particularly timely as Ecuador is experiencing financial difficulties that have spurred renewed interest in mining on the part of Ecuador’s government. Intag harbors large deposits of copper which are the target of mining efforts being conducted by CODELCO, the Chilean state-owned mining company under license by Ecuador. The goal of CODELCO is to construct a huge open-pit mine that would have a major impact on the extraordinarily biodiverse cloud forests of the region. Attend the presentation and learn how globalized markets for metals and the struggle to raise standards of living in Ecuador are generating an environmental crisis of global significance.

For more information concerning the presentation, contact Michael Melampy at or 440-826-3826. We invite you to spread the word and share this flyer!