Cloud Forest Institute encourages bio-regional endeavors to re-establish balance within ecological systems by way of environmental education, forest reciprocity and resilient community development. Cloud Forest Institute was originally founded to develop an educational exchange between Ecuador and the US. We appreciate its environmental and cultural abundance. Ecuador has “the highest biodiversity per hectare of any South American Country”. What makes it vital to protect is “at the current rate of deforestation, 2.3% per year, it will be nearly denuded by 2025”. The small country is the home of at least 10 distinct existing indigenous groups. All in danger of losing their habitats and cultures to the encroachment of western civilization and transnational corporations.
Research about online distance education learning communities began in 1995 when CFI became affiliated with the Globewide Network Academy, an organization that originated in 1993 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Within the following year CFI became one of the founding organizations in the creation of the Internet Biologists. The first course that CFI presented was in 1996, in conjunction with I.B.’s “Doing Biology on the Internet” program and was held in a virtual reality MOO created by Diversity University.
In 2004 CFI began partnering with ALLPA and Fundacion Cambugan to protect the Cambugan Watershed. The Cambugán River is located in the western Andean mountain range, about 50 km north of Quito, just 15 km north of the equator. The area belongs to the parish of San José de Minas in the region of Quito, in the province of Pichincha. The Cambugán Watershed is approximately 5 km wide and 12 km long at an elevation of 1300m to 3200m.
In 2006 CFI co-founded the Amazon Myco Renewal Project now known as Co-Renewal. Myco-remediation experiments to test how oyster mushroom mycelium work with the final phase of oil spill clean up began soon after in Lago Agrio.
Cloud Forest Institute is active in the community of Mendocino County, California. CFI supports organizations and community groups whose work is compatible with our mission by providing 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsorship to grassroots environmental education projects. In 2011 CFI BOD members entered into a purchase agreement for a 2.8 acre farm in Boonville forming MendoDragon Intentional Community.
2000 - CFI receives determination as a tax exempt, Federally designated 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation
2000 - CSUMB Real Life Learning: Ecuador Pilot Program is accomplished
2001 - Second Real Life Learning Ecuador Program
2001 – CFI goes under the umbrella of CIBT to be recognized as Instituto Bosque Nublado, an Ecuadorian NGO
2001 - CFI works at Salem in Mindo, Ecuador for five months hosting volunteers, interns, and students.
2002 - CFI works in Mindo educating about the OCP pipeline project
2003 - CFI sets up office at River Oaks Compu-Farm in Potter Valley, CA
2004 - CFI begins community think tank to initiate Multiversity in Northern California
2004 - CFI Presents the 2004 All Ages Revolutionary Summer School
2005 - CFI Presents the 2005 All Ages Revolutionary Summer School
2006 - CFI presents summer course in Ecuador, co-founds the Amazon Mycorenewal Project (AMP)
2007 - CFI and AMP initiate first mycoremediation experiments in Lago Agrio
2008 - CFI/AMP interns Jess Work and Brian Pace initiate annual Service Learning Mycoremediation course in Ecuador
2009 - CFI/AMP Service Learning Mycoremediation course in Ecuador. CFI acquires site in Mindo for Central Offices.
2010 - MendoDragon Intentional Community founded
2011 - CFI initiates year-round volunteer program in Mindo. Month long 3 section Service Learning summer course
2012 – Yoga in Paradise tour
2015 – CFI begins fiscal sponsorship to rebuild the Himalayan English Boarding School in Nepal
2016 – CFI Volunteers experience earthquake aftershocks in Canoa, Equador. Emergency Relief Effort partnering with Groupo CAEMBA to build 5 temporary bamboo shelters.
2018 – CFI and Earth Cycles initiate Forest Reciprocity Collective
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