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Connectivity Corridor Restoration in Cattle Ranching Landscapes


The Mainstreaming Conservation in Colombian Cattle Ranching Project (referred to by the acronym GCS), was recently launched to promote the adoption of silvopastoral systems (SPS) and better management practices in Colombian cattle ranching landscapes. The overall objective is to improve natural resource management, enhance the provision of environmental services and increase productivity within participating farms. One of the primary environmental goals of this project is to contribute to biodiversity conservation through the implementation of terrestrial and riparian corridors that connect the remnants of natural ecosystems in pastoral landscapes. To achieve this goal, it is essential to ensure the successful establishment of the connectivity corridors and enable their long-term sustainability. This course aims to provide the staff responsible for implementing the GCS with the technical bases needed for to ensure the adequate ecological restoration of the corridors. A future course will intorduce participants to options of sustainability tools that will enable the corridors to persist beyond the duration of the project.


Welcome and Introductions

Introduction to the GCS Project

Module 1. Introduction to Basic Concepts of Conservation and Environmental Services in the Context of Colombia

  • Ecologic principles of conservation
  • Overview of Colombian biodiversity
  • Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes
  • Social and economic dimensions of conservation / restoration
  • Case study #1: Restoration experiences in severely degraded areas
  • Case study #2: Experiencias del Proyecto Diálogo de Saberes en la vereda Bellavista, El Dovio

Module 2. Sustainable Cattle Ranching: Environmental and Economic Contributions

  • Conventional cattle ranching, and sustainable ranching as analternative
  • Field trip: Visit to Finca La Marina - conventional and sustainable ranching

Module 3. Connectivity Corridors as a Conservation Strategy in the GCS Project

  • Connectivity corridors as as strategy for landscape level conservation
  • GCS Project: biodiversity conservation as the key to project design

Module 4. Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and its Application in the Contexts of the GCS Project

  • Case study #3: Riparian corridors and water quality in cattle ranching landscapes
  • Case study #4: Experiencies with PES and cattle ranching in Colombia (GEF Project)
  • Field trip: Finca Pinzacuá (GEF project-Quindío) -riparian corridors, integration of productive and conservation areas, and some implementation options
  • Review of ES and PES concepts, and application in the GCS project
  • Case study #5: Research in reforestation with native species in Panama -design, methodology and results (PRORENA)
  • Importance of native species in the GCS project
  • Case study #6: Reforestation and environmental services: prelimiary results from a reforestation experience in the Panama Canal watershed (the Agua Salud project)

Module 5. Basic Principles of Ecological Restoration and Restoration Models

  • Case study #7: Lessons from riparian corridor restoration experiences with native species in the Atlantic Forests of BrasilOrigins of tropical forest degradation and ecological restoration
  • Importance of restoration for the maintenance of hydrological processes
  • Ecological processes applied to forest restoration
  • restoration for economic purposes
  • Succession and forest restoration
  • Models and selection of the appropriate restoration model
  • Environmental adequation of rural properties
  • Factors to consider in the restoration of cattle ranching lands
  • Defining restoration actions

Module 6. Stages for the Implementation of a Restoration Project

  • Field practice: Diagnosis of degraded areas
  • Classroom exercise: Defining restoration actions for the situations observed
  • Operations for forest restoration
  • Evaluation and monitoring of restoration areas
  • Discussion on restoration projects 

Field Day. El Hatico Nature Reserve

  • Welcome and Introduction to El Hatico Nature Reserve
  • Field trip: Tour around El Hatico with review of the topics covered
  • Discussion about opportunities through the Leadership Program
  • Field trip: Biodiversity as an ally of ranching productivity- examples from El Hatico
  • Event closing