On January 31, AEP Director of Programs Ruth Metzel presented to an Environmental Leadership Training Initiative (ELTI) seminar on AEP´s use of geographic information systems (GIS) to create a wildlife habitat corridor in Los Santos. The presentation, titled “The Creation of a Conservation Corridor in Azuero”, explained AEP’s project to find a route to connect the dry forest in Los Santos where the endemic subspecies, the Azuero spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi azurensis) is known to live. AEP created the potential route using biophysical and socioeconomic variables to select the properties optimal for inclusion in this biological corridor. The final route is 80 kilometers long, stretching from Cerro Hoya National Park to the Achotines Forest. This information will help to inform AEP’s programs to conserve the Azuero dry forest and to protect the native habitat of the spider monkey and other species that live on the Azuero Peninsula.
This presentation formed only part of ELTI’s seminar, titled ¨Environmental Services and Rainforest Restoration¨, that focused on training professionals and technical experts basic techniques for conservation and restoration projects through presentations, discussions and fieldwork. The course took place from January 28 to February 2 at the Achotines Laboratory to give participants the opportunity to explore the local dry forest on the Azuero Peninsula.
1. Understand the fundamentals affecting the ecological functioning of forests, land use planning and the provision of environmental services in tropical regions.
2. Analyze the causes and consequences of environmental degradation have on natural regeneration and restoration of tropical forest to local and regional scale.
3. Recognize the different strategies, tools and technologies available to guide decision-making in land and forest landscape restoration.
4. Learn techniques to evaluate the properties of the tropical forest ecosystem and the progress of the restoration and management strategies, at both local and landscape.
*Taken from ELTI “Course Summary” document
The Environmental Leadership Training Initiative (ELTI) is a joint program through the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) to provide individuals with the tools to conserve tropical forests in Latin America and Asia.
View the Powerpoint presentation ¨Creation of a Conservation Corridor in Azuero¨ (in Spanish)
Written by Sophie M. Fuchs