We would like to share with you our experience last weekend during the workshops 2021 by the Great Leaf Foundation. Members of the Communities of El Sapote and Las Cañas, and visitors from the closest communities (Canton El Carmen -Manabí) attended; it was held at the Scientific Station of the Private Biological Reserve "Bosque la Esperanza". The event had the support of ACOBOE "Association of Conservation and Restoration of the Tropical Forests of Ecuador", of the Institute of Advanced Technological Studies "Illari" and counted with the participation of the Forestar Foundation.
The talks were given by biologists committed with conservation of the Ecuadorian Choco forests, especially La Esperanza Forest.
Anelio, is the promoter of the conservation of La Esperanza forest. Anelio (parabiologist - botanist) welcomed us to the forest and tells us about the great diversity of plants found here.
Andrea Narváez PhD spoke about the diversity of fauna in La Esperanza Forest, the importance of knowing wildlife and learning to cohabit with them. In addition, she highlighted the relevance of protecting the home of many species that are under threatened categories due to extractive practices. In the same way, she socialized the ecological restoration project and the projection of connectivity that Great Leaf promotes in the Sector.
Adriana Argoti Msc. spoke about the importance of native bees as pollinators, highlighting their relationship with forest conservation to improve the dynamic of pollinator communities, including also meliponids (stingless bees) to improve crop productivity. In the same way, the relevance of appropriate beekeeping practices as an economic alternative for the locality was highlighted.
Next, María Jose Erazo Msc. shared her knowledge about the countless services provided by forests; she also emphasizes the importance of ecological restoration processes linked to sustainable agricultural practices.
In addition, Gustavo Pazmiño Msc. talked about the need to communicate science as a tool for conservation by using audiovisual elements. Gustavo stresses the importance of socializing knowledge with local communities and the general public to achieve environmental awareness on a large scale.
We also have the participation of Mónica Cueva (representative of Illari) who puts into consideration the mission of her institution and its commitment to the development of communities. She tells us about her education efforts and her role as trainer of people from different social background, also considering the productive sector and community work.
All talks aimed to promote the participation of the community in Esperanza project, to work for the recovery of the forests of the northern region of Manabí, thus promoting the protection of the local flora and fauna and the socio-economic development of the region.
At the end of the day, we had the opportunity to walk along the forest trails and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that Bosque la Esperanza houses.
We also want to thank, once again, Radio ECO who has allowed us to socialize the ecological restoration project La Esperanza and for supporting us constantly.
We also highlight the importance of environmental education. At the end of the weekend, a community member (Marco Murillo) rescued a boa constrictor (animals they normally kill for fear of being bitten) to be returned to the forest. We are very pleased that our message is accepted by local communities. This workshop is part of the activities financed by the Australian embassy through the financing "Allumni Change Agent Award 2021: Chille and Ecuador".
-Anelio Loor (Parabiólogo, Botánico)
-Adriana Argoti (MsC. Crop and soil sciences. Specialty Entomology)
-Gustavo Pazmiño (MsC. Ecology, management and restoration of the natural environment)
-María Jose Erazo (MsC. Social and environmental studies)
-Andrea Narváez (PhD. Zoology, ecology and behavior)