Have you ever wonder how do scientist study/monitor glaciers?
I was lucky enough to join a field trip with my friends from Catholic University in Quito.
The fresh water team has been studying the Antisana glacier in Ecuador, rivers and all the little bugs that live there for about a decade!!! yes! they know exactly who live in those glacier rivers and what is every bug doing there. Who is visiting, who is a resident in the site and who is dispersing. They visit remote sites, pick some water samples, measure various characteristics of the streams and study the macro invertebrate communities in each site. They also look for little holes called “cryoconites” in the glacier where some microbes live. With that information they can monitor changes over time. This is especially relevant for understanding the biodiversity of the area, the quality of water and how climate change is affecting the glacier. This is how they do it! this was my day at a biologist’s office 😉 Because, science matters!
I am back to my (BUG) roots 😉 Check out my latest article about “Pollinators, Food security, and Rural Development”. My love for bugs, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and good/healthy food combined in a document that will support the discussions at the first-ever IPBES Trialogue in Sarajevo. The Trialogue will bring together around 50 scientists, policy-makers and beekeepers/farmers to discuss about the situation in Montenegro, Albania, Moldova, Bosnia&Herzegovina and Georgia.
Download the full article here.
“Why are pollinators important?
- Globally, nearly 90 per cent of wild flowering plant species depend, at least in part, on the transfer of pollen by animals. Plants are critical for the continued functioning of ecosystems as they provide food, form habitats and provide other resources for a wide range of other species (IPBES, 2016a).[…]
- […] Pollinator-dependent food products are important contributors to healthy human diets and nutrition. Pollinator- dependent species encompass many fruit, vegetable, seed, nut and oil crops, which supply major proportions of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals in the human diet (IPBES, 2016a). […]
- […] pollinators provide multiple benefits beyond food production. Their value has as well an important cultural and social component. Many livelihoods and cultural practices depend on pollinators, their products and multiple benefits such as medicine, fibres, materials for musical instruments, source of inspirations for arts, literature to name a few (IPBES, 2016a).[…]
- […] Globally, there is a well-documented decline in some species of wild pollinators, and an important lack of data on the status of most wild species. Concerning managed species, honey bee numbers are generally increasing with local declines and important seasonal colony loss registered in several countries. As a result, there are losses of genetic diversity and local adaptations in honey bee populations. Populations of pollinators face multiple threats and there is a wide range of response options drawing from Indigenous and local knowledge and science (IPBES, 2016a).[…]
- […]Multiple causes are linked to the decline in pollinators such as land use change, intensive agricultural management, risks associated with pesticides and particular inputs (insecticides and herbicides) associated with Genetically Modified (GM) crops, pathogens, pests and predators, climate change, invasive alien species and the various interactions among these threats.” […]
Would you like to learn more about the effects of climate change in Ecuador? check this article out! My good friend Paula Iturralde- Polit and her team found on their study that in Ecuador “all scenarios predicted that climate change will have effects on species richness distribution patterns” and that “some species may not be able to shift their ranges fast enough to track their suitable climates.” Really interesting evidence to take into consideration when designing resilient conservation and adaptation strategies…
Read the full study here: Iturralde-Pólit_et_al-2017-Biotropica
Hermoso artículo sobre mi querido Doc Onore! mi gran mentor por muchos años! y las citas tomadas del blog ja!
El artículo completo lo pueden leer en este link!
Les comparto un articulo lindísimo de la Gaby Muñoz Vélez….
“Las mujeres esmeraldeñas se han dedicado tradicionalmente a conchar. Esta labor se ha convertido en su principal actividad económica, pero de un tiempo a esta parte, la escasez del molusco se ha convertido en un problema serio para las comunidades rurales de la zona fronteriza costera entre Ecuador y Colombia. […]”
y aquí pueden leer el artículo completo!
Les comparto mi último artículo: historias-por-dentro-quito….
● La ciudad de Quito es un buen ejemplo de cómo la información sobre la vulnerabilidad, puede generar conocimiento en el desarrollo de políticas e implementación de acciones concretas sobre el terreno. Quito ha demostrado que desarrollar indicadores a escala de ciudad y preguntas clave relativas a las políticas de una manera participativa, involucrando a las autoridades locales, expertos locales y apoyo externo, puede construir confianza y facilitar la apropiación institucional de la información generada.
● La evidencia de la vulnerabilidad de Quito se ha legitimado y se ha asumido efectivamente dentro del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito por dos razones principales: la metodología y los resultados finales respondieron a la demanda, necesidades y prioridades del Municipio; y sus autoridades técnicas fueron participantes activos en el proceso y no sólo receptores de la información.
● Quito mejoró la aplicación práctica de las soluciones de adaptación al cambio climático in situ, mediante la identificación de opciones que tomen en cuenta la diversidad de opiniones y fuentes de evidencia, así como la comprensión individual tanto de mujeres como de hombres ante la vulnerabilidad al cambio climático.
Did you know that recent studies show that urban ecosystems present a higher richness of species than intensively managed agricultural ecosystems? This could suggest that the conditions in the cities are giving these species a place to live without the threats of pesticides, disturbance from machinery or clear cuts after harvesting… isn’t that great? our cities are giving biodiversity a home!
With a growing population, the food demand will also increase. And maybe using urban spaces for food production could be an alternative to avoid agricultural intensification and enhance urban biodiversity. Boom! what a combination! 😉
Cuba is an example worth mentioning…Evidence shows that the country has 8000 agro-ecological gardens managed without any chemical pesticide or fertiliser. Such gardens promote the diversity of crops and species, recycle and uses local inputs, and produce considerable amounts of food. In the case of La Habana city, these agro-ecological systems provided with 8500 tons of food, including 7, 5 millions of eggs, and 3650 tons of meat in 1996. Not bad right?
In a pot, in a garden or in an allotment close to your place…lets’s do it!
Why bother with urban biodiversity? … I can mention at least four reasons for knowing, caring and doing something to protect all the species in our cities….
1.- cities offer an enormous niche and an opportunity for biodiversity conservation
2.- urban settlements are inevitably growing in size and density and are one of the major threats to nature conservation.
3.- cities tend to be located in important biodiversity hotspots
4.- urban ecosystems provide a platform for citizens to understand the natural processes that govern global sustainability and provide them with several different social and psychological benefits.
Wanna do something about it? Get involved in urban planning and development in your home city! There is a lot of room for biologists, ecologist and conservationists in general. For example, green infrastructures such as green roofs and walls for food production, carbon sequestration, regulation of temperature could be the perfect scenario for the restoration of ecosystems, and the reintroduction of some native plants, birds, small mammals, insects that otherwise would not have a chance to co-exist with cities. It is true that many native species won’t resist to urban conditions but such technologies have the potential to restore the ecosystem’s functioning and to reconnect cities with the natural cycles.
How many species live next you? do you know them? Go out and explore!!!!! See below a beauty you can find in the North of Quito-Ecuador 😉
There are great examples of successful conservation and sustainability efforts around the world that give us hope (Balmford, 2012; Bernard, 2010) and demonstrate that things can get better and will get better. However, it is time to be honest in tackling the root causes of the problem from a conservation perspective.
Waste and our current consumption and production patterns are the major drivers for biodiversity loss, pollution, poverty, climate change (Orr, 1994).
What if we think out-of the box for substituting something with nothing (Pauli, 2010)? and we create solutions that move away from pollution and waste and that use the resources that we already have?
The Blue Economy (Pauli, 2010) is a great example showing that it IS possible to do so. In a nutshell, Gunther Pauli proposes the use of the waste produced by the coffee industry to grow mushrooms to feed vulnerable communities. Producers could grow coffee in a way that is compatible with biodiversity and responsible with the producer’s wellbeing. Responsible coffee drinkers could pay a fair price to producers, and in addition, new entrepreneurs could use the coffee waste to grow mushrooms to feed people (Pauli, 2010). The result would be that we wouldn’t need more land to grow more coffee or more resources for the creation of more goods, more jobs and more money. Check out more about this idea here.
With the same reasoning , there are many other examples of innovation in conservation. It is essential that we keep innovating our actions to tackle waste, production and consumption in the Anthropocene era (Steffen et al., 2011). Keep checking the blog!!! new ideas coming soon… 🙂