2010 RNC & Bioremediation module in Ecuador, Ma...

2010 RNC & Bioremediation module in Ecuador, Masters in Biodiversity

In the context of 2-year old international master’s degree program, “Biodiversity in Tropical Areas and its Conservation"
(www.masterenbiodiversidad.org) James Aronson and Nikolay Aguirre once again led a two-week module on ecological restoration and RNC, last May in Ecuador. It was attended by 28 future conservation professionals from seven nations, including 16 from Latin America, 10 from Spain and one from Belgium. This year the course was held in Loja, in the southern part of the country and we visited several projects in progress, including two stations owned and run by the NGO Nature and Culture International.

Students were instructed on how to carry out a retrospective analysis of landscape transformation, and how to develop a sequential reference model, as well as various ways to incorporate ecosystem and landscape attributes, and attributes of satisfactorily restored ecosystems, into restoration plans. In seven small groups, the 28 participating students prepared proposals as if they were going to attempt to obtain funding for a restoration project in their home countries or in one of the areas that were visited in the module.

(Note that potential funders are noted in each project, but no proposal was actually sent to those companies, agencies or NGOs. This was merely a simulation and potential funders were identified in order to help focus the students' work.)

Each group developed a schematic model showing how the target ecosystems were degraded and landscapes fragmented. In a second schema, they proposed a program to restore or rehabilitate different landscape units and to reintegrate fragmented landscapes. Each group was also asked to produce a timetable and budget as well as an Executive Summary of their work. Here we present the seven student reports produced this year.

In the June 2010 issue of Ecological Restoration, Aronson, Aguirre* and Jesus Muñoz** described the Biodiversity program and the ER/RNC module in more detail, and provided lessons learned, and highlights observed from last year's experience - click here to read paper. That article was part of a special Theme on Education and Outreach in which RNC co-coordinator Bev Debrincat also contributed a report as did David Tongway and Carolina Murcia.

This year, many new ideas emerged, and two papers are under development, one in Spanish, for presentation at the 2010 RIACRE congress in Cuba, and the other in English, for an international journal. Students participated in both papers and will co-sign them.

* Nikolay Aguirre is Professor of Forest Ecology at the School of Forestry Engineering, National University of Loja, Ecuador.
[email protected]
National University of Loja, Casilla 11-01-249 Loja, Ecuador.

** Jesús Muñoz is Research Fellow at the Royal Botanic Garden (CSIC, Spain) and Research Associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden (USA). Currently he leads the MSc & PhD Program “Biodiversity on Tropical Areas and its Conservation” developed in Ecuador ( www.masterenbiodiversidad.org ). He can be reached at [email protected]
Real Jardín Botánico (CSIC), Plaza de Murillo 2, 28014 Madrid, Spain.

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Plan Piloto de Restauración del Bosque Seco Tropical Alterado por la Minería en el Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco, parroquia Chongón, provincia del Guayas, Ecuador.

Carlos Cajas, Johana Novillo, Micaela Peña, Juan Carlos Vizuete.

Restauración vegetal de manglar de borde en el litoral central del Ecuador

Byron Medina, Silvia Román, Bayanor Santana & Javier Salgado.

Rehabilitacion y remediación para la restauración ecológica de remanentes de bosques Altoandinos en la comunidad de Cofradia y Huacupamba, Canton Espindola, Provincia Loja, Ecuador.

Fabián Bersosa, José Luis Condori, Juan Carlos Crespo, Santiago Moreno.

Restauración del Capital Natural del Bosque Protector El Ingenio-Santa Rosa para la Mejora de los Servicios Ecosistémicos y Bienestar de la Comunidad, Loja, Ecuador

Duval Cueva, Danilo Yánez, Walter Simbaña

Restauración de un ecosistema de páramo en Villonaco (Loja, Ecuador) afectado por una plantación de pino patula (Pinus patula)

Gloria Calatayud Hermoza, Valeria García López, Paola Martín Marín, Natalia Sierra Cornejo, Almudena Vélez Márquez

Plan piloto de rehabilitación, reasignación y reintegración de una plantación de pino (Pinus patula) en el área de bosque y vegetación protectora "El Bosque", Loja - Ecuador

Verónica Espinoza, Melinda Hofmann, Michael Moens, Italo Treviño

Rehabilitación, restauración y reintegración de la Escombrera-vertedero y zonas afectadas, en Vilagarcía de Arousa, Galicia, España.

Alicia Maraver Acosta, Amada Perez Traba, Damian Ramirez García y M Mar Soler Hurtado