Latin American dry forests are some of the most endangered on earth.The Latin American Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest Floristic Network was established to promote the conservation of this ecosystem. Only 3% of this ecosystem is covered in the Colombian National System of Protected Areas. This video highlights the importance of dry forests and the possibilities for their restoration and conservation.
Sustainability and conservation are often associated with western science. However the indigenous communities of the Amazon have maintained a symbiotic sustainable interaction with their forests for millenia. To ancient communities like the Uitotos (an indigenous group from the Amazon), myths are stories that are kept alive through rituals and oral heritage. Myths are essential to them, as they are for any group of people who use them, as they are context related and demonstrate patterns of behaviour that teach how to live and interact with every life form.
With the aim of showcasing elements of Colombia’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage rbgeColombia (this time lead by Javier Luna and Juliana Ramos) have been exploring the relationship that the Uitotos have with the Amazon forest. Using the rich imagery of the myths we designed a workshop with narration and movement to explore the ideas they transmit. This allowed participants to feel at ease creating a space of open dialogue and embodiment.
We received extremely positive feedback and will be running the workshop again at the RBGE and in Colombia.
This workshop was designed with the support of the Innovative Learning Week 2015, The University of Edinburgh.
Our first ever Colombian PhD student Maca successfully defended her thesis yesterday. Her thesis assessed population genetics and phylogeography of two groups of plants that are found in páramo vegetation. Very few studies have focused on relationships within species in the páramo so Maca is a true pioneer! Her work involved extensive fieldwork to some beautiful and challenging localities in Colombia that she was happy to visit…
although there were moments…
In addition to her research, Maca also made a huge contribution to our public engagement program, a line of work that she hopes to pursue in the future.
Congratulations once again Maca!