Hope and innovation for conservation

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.IMG_0880 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… 🙂

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Creative science communication

 

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Have you ever thought about how much scientific knowledge remains frozen in very complicated scientific papers?

Don’t you think that science could be way more accesible and FUN for everybody?

Well! The Cambridge “Pint of Science”  does a great job communicating science in a very lively way.  They bring together around 50 local artists that create an artwork related to the scientific talks held in pubs around the city of Cambridge, UK.IMG_5756

 

Last night, I had the chance to drink a pint at the Boathouse, discuss about climate change resilience in Quito , answer a pub quiz and present Wendy Bohme’s  amazing art piece inspired by my work. It was a great experience! What a fun way to communicate science! Don’t you think 😉 ?

 

The festival takes place in over 100 cities in 12 countries around the world during the course of the three days, 23-25 May. Find some interesting facts about the history of Pint of Science here. Check it out!

pint of science

 

#‎creativereactions‬ ‪#‎sciencecommunication‬ bringing together ‪#‎art‬ and‪#‎science‬ ‪#‎pintofscience‬ ‪#‎cambridge‬

 

No estaba muerto… andaba de parranda ;)

Increíble pero cierto! El Jambato negro del páramo de Ecuador que se pensaba estaba extinto fue recientemente encontrado! Lee más sobre la historia del Atelopus ignescens que resucitó aquí 

“Un apasionado cura Salesiano y una familia campesina, llenos de fé, sonaron las campanas que anunciaban la presencia del Jambatiug, Caballito de Dios o Castillo en tierras que por ahora conviene mantenerlas en el anonimato y que oportunamente serán conocidas. A su llamado acudimos, incrédulos, Giovanni Onore y el autor de este artículo, luego se sumó Elicio E. Tapia. Ahí estaba el jambatito negro azabache, tal y como lo vimos en aquellos tiempos de juventud” (Coloma, 2016).

 

 

‪#‎conservacion ‪#‎Ecuador

 

Art and Conservation

“ Drawing strength and inspiration from Nature ” -Gunther Pauli-

How important is to understand that conservation needs to be tackled from all the possible angles you can think of. Conservation is by nature interdisciplinary but we still tend to believe that it can be achieved by hard sciences alone. The truth is that the issue is so complex, that it needs the understanding and the contribution  from all us, no matter the position you are in or the subject you studied at college.  Everybody can make a difference from wherever they are. I find that one of most engaging, colourful and fun approaches to conservation is through visual arts. From scientific illustration to photography, video, documentaries, street art to name a few.  The purpose is to  make conservation more inclusive. To make the matter visible to non-experts, catch their attention,  INSPIRE them and invite them to contribute. When these visual arts are combined with the intuitive wisdom from my female  entrepreneur fellows it becomes even more motivating to me 🙂 (sorry if I am biased)

Diana Troya

Diana Troya-Visual Communicator

I am proud  and happy to introduce you all to Diana Troya and Noemi Cevallos, ecuadorian biologists, artists, innate communicators and friends. They are both doing an amazing job by organising workshops to spread the word about conservation through visual arts in Ecuador.

If you want to know about their work, like their Facebook page and check out the videos about their last two workshops held in Quito.

Botanical Illustration

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Noemi Cevallos-Scientific Illustrator

 

 

 

 

 

Do NO Harm…

Lake Malawi Malawi

Lake Malawi-Malawi

Too many times I have heard that development aid implements millionaire programmes to tackle one issue and accidentally causes another problem. This time, I want to share with you the case of mosquito nets, lake Malawi and the endemic endangered Chambo fish. Imagine for a second this amazing lake full of fishes…. thousands of people  depending on Chambo as a source of protein and as a source of income. Imagine now,  a huge amount of mosquito nets impregnated with toxic pesticides (to kill the mosquito) been distributed in the country to prevent Malaria and other mosquito-transmitted diseases.  Not a direct relation between these two facts right? well, these facts are very closely related…. People are sleeping without mosquito nets and are using the nets to capture baby Chambo fishes in the breeding areas.  Such practice has almost driven the specie to extinction. Ooooops!!!?

Chambo Fish

Chambo fish

I am not saying that a strategy for preventing Malaria is a bad thing, because it is not! .. but c’mon people! let’s pay attention to the implementation process of such strategies. The solution is not to distribute mosquito nets without proper education and communication about how to use the nets appropriately.  Let’s always be aware and prepared to mitigate the unintended consequences of our actions in any field. Luckily some actions have been taken to conserve the breeding grounds of the fish and people are now actively involved in the process. Local people are aware of the importance of protecting the baby Chambo fishes to ensure their food security and their jobs.

Country-Views--Chambo

‘Otongachi’ se abre al mundo

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Tomado de Diario La Hora…

“Trabajamos por la conservación del monte, de la montaña, debemos aprender a convivir con la selva y con todo lo que tiene por ofrecernos. A las nuevas generaciones se les debe enseñar las utilidades que tienen cada animal y cada plata, mas no destruirlas. Nuestras reservas están abiertas para eso. En Otongachi que se encuentra en la Unión del Toachi estamos construyendo una estación científica que además contará con habitaciones y miradores espectaculares”, dijo Onore.

 

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