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ELTI Symposium at the SER Conference


ELTI is leading a 2-hour symposium on Monday, August 28, 2017 at the 7th World Congress on Ecological Restoration of the Society for Ecological Restoration. The event is also the 5th Iberoamerican and Caribbean Congress on Ecological Restoration and 1st Brazilian Conference on Ecological Restoration.

The ELTI symposium addresses the role that field-based focal training sites can play in linking scientific research, applied experience, and capacity building for ecological restoration. We will examine the unique potential of these sites, highlight experiences from different countries, and discuss ways to share these experiences with the restoration community worldwide.


To meet the global need for ecological restoration, it is imperative for the people who manage and influence tropical landscapes to have access to the latest science and applied experience that can help them to make more sustainable land use decisions.  This symposium explores the role of field-based focal training sites in building capacity for restoration by facilitating the connections between scientific research and experiential learning.  Firstly, we will explore the potential role that these sites can play by offering different and unique ecological, socio-economic and cultural contexts for teaching purposes. By exploring cases in Sri Lanka, Colombia, Brazil, and Panama, we hope to explore the ways in which (1) training sites with a long history of scientific research can provide research results to substantiate training curricula, (2) demonstration sites serve as hands-on classrooms to explore key concepts and restoration strategies, and (3) these sites can serve as living laboratories for current research and inspire future research based on identified training needs. Additionally, we will explore innovative ways to allow for the lessons learned from particular training sites to be shared with researchers and practitioners other parts of the world through the use of creative online training materials. The symposium will conclude with a detailed discussion about the use of field-based focal training sites and how the restoration community can work at the interface between scientific research, capacity building, and applied experience.

Presentations Include:

Eva Garen, Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
“Exploring the potential of Field-Based Focal Training Sites to link applied research with capacity building for place-based, experiential learning on restoration”

Zoraida Calle, Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), Center for Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems (CIPAV)
“El Hatico Training Site In Valle Del Cauca, Colombia: Land Rehabilitation Integrated To Sustainable Livestock Production And Organic Agriculture ”

Jacob L. Slusser, Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)
“Influencing landscape restoration through science-based capacity building in the dry tropical forest of Panama”

Daniel Piotto, Federal University of Southern Bahia
“Experimental research and demonstration sites in Southern Bahia, a living laboratory of restoration and community development in Brazil”

Gillian Bloomfield, Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative (ELTI), Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
“Innovative online training tools for bringing focal training sites to life for researchers and restoration practitioners around the world”