Systematization of 10 years of analog forestry implementation in Ecuador

Autores: Lorena Gamboa, Maria Cristina Criollo, Lucia Lasso, Carolina Altamirano, Angel Suco, Euclides Villalta, Julio Moreno, y Ranil Senanayake

Localización: Nuevo Mundo, Región de Pichincha, Ecuador

Analog forestry was introduced in Nuevo Mundo in 1998 as a response to the problems of poverty, migration, and social marginalization. The aim of the study was to systematize the experience with the application of analog forestry and determine its impact 10 years after its establishment in Nuevo Mundo.

Evaluación de la situación socioambiental en Nuevo Mundo

  • The authors compared three plots with different types of vegetation management: Arboretum (where analog forestry has been applied), agroforest, and pasture.
  • The results show that Arboretum obtained the highest total ecological value (6.7), followed by agroforest (5.4) and pasture (2.4) (Figure); Arboretum and agroforestry plots were above the threshold of ecological sustainability, while pasture could be categorized as a fragile ecosystem.
  • Further analysis also revealed:
    – Higher environmental awareness (people recognize the importance of protecting water sources, biodiversity, and forest)
    – Landscape improvement (Nuevo Mundo could serve as a tourist attraction)
    – Successful soil recovery
    – Increase in flora and fauna species (exchanging and sharing seeds among the members of the community allowed the diversification of products for self-consumption) 
  • Overall, analog forestry helped to increase and restore the ecological functions of the tropical humid forest and broadened the general knowledge about nature conservation in Nuevo Mundo

Los beneficios socioeconómicos de la silvicultura análoga se analizaron en las familias pertenecientes a la Asociación Nuevo Mundo, ya que fueron las que establecieron sus parcelas de silvicultura análoga en 1998.

Beneficios socioeconómicos

  • Diversification of products for auto-consumption resulted in (a) reduced spending on food and medicine; (b) improved health and nutrition; (c) increased potential to sell the products and generate new income; (d) increased food sovereignty.
  • New income from tourism.
  • Reproduction and sale of orchids.
  • Reproduction and sale of orchids.
  • Generation of social capital - community leaders were constantly educated about the environmental and economic importance of native plant species, which brought more job opportunities related to analog forestry
  • Organizational strengthening - greater participation of women in decision-making processes and plot management, improving their self-esteem and valuing work with gender equality.

Evaluación de la situación socioambiental en Nuevo Mundo

  • Analog forestry has great potential to contribute to local and global climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts
  • For example, the aerial plant biomass in the Nuevo Mundo Arboretum is bigger than that of a pasture, and the high species diversity (some of which are long-lived) might allow carbon capture for a longer time; biological corridors are another long-term carbon sinks that promote the conservation of water resources, the recovery of soils and biodiversity.
  • The establishment of Arboretums enables to monitor adaptation of species to climate changes; the species are propagated in special conditions, which could result from sudden climate changes
  • Analog forestry ensures the protection and conservation of water sources, taking into account that a decrease in the water supply is one of the expected impacts of climate change

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