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Building ecological connectivity and human well-being in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor, Costa Rica: Scenarios and tools for social-ecological systems (Final Technical Report, IDRC)

Building ecological connectivity and human well-being in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor, Costa Rica: Scenarios and tools for social-ecological systems (Final Technical Report, IDRC)

Author(s): Martin J. Bunch & Felipe Montoya-Greenheck
Published: 2015
Type: Report

This project forms part of a permanent “Las Nubes Project” that the Faculty of Environmental Studies of York University carries out in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor (ASBC) in the Peñas Blancas watershed in Southern Costa Rica. The goal of the larger project is to improve ecological health and human well-being. This IDRC project strengthens ties with Costa Rican research partners and with stakeholders in the ASBC to improve the sustainability and impact of the Las Nubes Project through the collaborative creation of an on-line, user-friendly, interactive data-base (as a "virtual corridor") that can be used to compile and organize information available on the ASBC. This will be used by community members, researchers and other stakeholders for environmental education, research and action projects, and policy creation, with a solid factual foundation. The complex nature of coupled social-ecological systems required that this project employed a complex-systems theoretical framework for analysis, monitoring and evaluation. This framework was explored with Costa Rican partners in workshops to create capacities for active and equitable partner and stakeholder participation in the construction of the "virtual corridor", uploading and analysis of the data, monitoring and evaluation of the project, and in the posing of new research questions. The project highlighted the importance of the collaborative creation of technological tools and skills for promoting ecological health and human well-being. It also introduced a complex-systems theoretical framework for action research with coupled social-ecological systems, and for monitoring and evaluating such projects. The project has also led to the development of a larger research network in Costa Rica that is adopting this approach and the “COBAS corridor virtual” (cobasvirtual.org) to support proposals for further work in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor.

 

 

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