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Choco-Andes Corridor Conserving biodiversity and livelihoods in two globally important “hotspots” of biodiversity, the lowland choco and the western Andes.

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Presentation on theme: "Choco-Andes Corridor Conserving biodiversity and livelihoods in two globally important “hotspots” of biodiversity, the lowland choco and the western Andes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Choco-Andes Corridor Conserving biodiversity and livelihoods in two globally important “hotspots” of biodiversity, the lowland choco and the western Andes slopes C. Ronald Carroll, Univ. of Georgia Rebeca Justicia, Univ. of Georgia and Fundacion Maquipucuna

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9 Maquipucuna lodge

10 Buildings constructed from local sustainable material Majority construction is with native bamboo (reputation as “poor man’s wood”) Two international awards for eco-tourism and community development

11 Choco-Andes Corridor Conserving biodiversity and livelihoods in two globally important “hotspots” of biodiversity, the lowland choco and the western Andes slopes C. Ronald Carroll, Univ. of Georgia Rebeca Justicia, Univ. of Georgia and Fundacion Maquipucuna

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14 Buildings constructed from local sustainable material Majority construction is with native bamboo (reputation as “poor man’s wood”) Two international awards for eco-tourism and community development

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23 Young sunlit leaves are favored. Riders may ward off phorid fly parasites

24 Fungus mycelia with new leaves (left)

25 Mature Atta nest at San Luis, UGA Costa Rica site

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27 The worst parts are the hairs !

28 Docile…as long as you don’t make a fist. Worst parts are the hairs. Dendrobatid frog

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30 Emerald tree boa

31 Male Saberwing Hummingbird at defense

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34 Quetzals, toucans, and many other fruit- eating birds are major dispersers of tree seeds. Their ecosystem service maintains the forest. This Quetzal is holding a fruit of a wild relative of the avocado.

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36 Choco-Andes Corridor Conserving biodiversity and livelihoods in two globally important “hotspots” of biodiversity, the lowland choco and the western Andes slopes C. Ronald Carroll, Univ. of Georgia Rebeca Justicia, Univ. of Georgia and Fundacion Maquipucuna

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39 Buildings constructed from local sustainable material Majority construction is with native bamboo (reputation as “poor man’s wood”) Two international awards for eco-tourism and community development

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45 Ancient Incan and Yumbo trails extend between mountains and lowlands. Known as coluncos, they are worn deep by centuries of use.

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47 Class for ecotourism guides

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49 Chonta palm Tagua palm

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51 Carvings from tagua nuts

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54 Shade-grown organic coffee 260 family coffee growers in project Direct marketing Maintain highest quality beans Profit to grower is four times more

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56 “Dancing goats” discovery of coffee in Ethiopia mountains

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60 Rainforest Shade-grown coffee

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71 Coffee summary Direct marketing, brand naming and premium quality brings 4X profit to grower (Choco-Andes Coffee under 1000 Faces brand) Surrogate forest overstory in bird-friendly shade- grown organic coffee shelters forest birds Growers’ alliance receives advice and information but not direction

72 Chocolate Food of the gods

73 Cacao growers in our project are afro-ecuadorianos and indigenous chachis.

74 Cacao was the drink of the Mayan nobility and the beans were monetary currency

75 Aztec nobility with cacao drink. Note serpent god.

76 Chocolate introduced into 18th Century Europe remained a luxury drink

77 The alkaloids in chocolate are mildly addictive and induce the release of endorphins. Besides behaving as a pain regulator, endorphins are also thought to be connected to physiological processes including euphoric feelings, appetite modulation, and the release of sex hormones.

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80 Hand sorting for quality important for premium quality chocolate

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83 Small cacao flowers are pollinated by a midge whose larvae live in forest litter. Monillia pod disease.

84 Black Cocoa Ant controls several major cacao pests

85 Indonesian cacao farmer carrying bags with palm leaves and ant colonies. Bags will be suspended in cacao trees.

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87 Chocolate processing Fat (cocoa butter) is extracted Remaining liquid or powder is the base Small amounts of cocoa butter and sugar are added to reduce bitterness Milk added to make milk chocolate White chocolate made from cocoa butter

88 Benefits of dark chocolate? Dark chocolate contains flavenoids, polyphenols, and releases nitric oxide in blood Relaxes blood vessels and reduces blood pressure No benefit from white chocolate Am J Clin Nutr 2005 vol 81

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90 Major producers and consumers of chocolate

91 Note that the world price of cacao beans has declined steadily since a peak in the mid-1970s. Generally cost of living has increased steadily over this period.

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96 Bamboo used for… Low-cost renewable housing Source of farmer income Reduce pasture erosion Increase biodiversity Reduce deforestation Sale of carbon credits

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98 Maquipucuna lodge Constructed mainly with palm and bamboo

99 Large amounts of carbon are stored in bamboo roots. Our bamboo has a clumping habit and this has important ecological consequences.

100 Carbon stock storage Bamboo soil Mg/ha Pasture soil Mg/ha Bamboo biomass Mg/ha Pasture biomass Mg/ha Lower C/N under bamboo Lower bulk density under bamboo Deeper C storage under bamboo?? Mg=1000kg of carbon

101 Carbon sequestration: the newest initiative RICOH corporation in Japan purchased one million dollars in carbon credits In return we reforest 640 hectares of degraded pasture with native trees that will sequester carbon (above and below ground) 150 hectares are designed (we hope) as tropical equivalent of Temperate Zone FACE forests

102 Degraded pasture conversion Guadua or forest? ChoCO2 CDM project over 20 years 523 ha of degraded pasture 165,997 tCO2 reforestation with CDM guidelines 1,263,000 tCO2 from harvested Guadua 7.6X more CO2 stored with Guadua

103 Pasture conversion con’t Each 100 ha of Guadua after 5 years generates approximately $106,000 USD annual gross revenue from harvest sales plus carbon credits and… Reduces demand on timber from forest lands. Rate of deforestation in bamboo project area is now approximately 0%

104 Site suitability for Guadua in the Choco-Andes Corridor. Red has highest suitability.

105 Environmental education is fundamentally important to long- term sustainability

106 Coffee, chocolate, birds, and people “migrate” between the forested environments of Ecuador and Georgia. Therefore, we think of this connection as “Our Shared Forest”.

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108 Our Shared Forest The forests of Ecuador and the US are linked by several processes 1. Bird migration 2. Coffee and Chocolate trade 3. Exchange of students and faculty 4. Exchange of environmental education programs

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110 THE END Ron Carroll


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