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NCI Working to Save Paramos
July/August 2009

A crucial union of scientific and ancestral knowledge

Nature & Culture International’s paramo conservation program, based in Piura, Peru, has been working to sustainably manage highland areas by building local capacity and developing policies and laws to support conservation and sustainable development practices. The paramos, or highland grasslands, of the Andes protect water resources for a great number of people in the region and are home to a vast variety of species uniquely adapted to the harsh climate of these high altitude zones. In these unique areas, NCI is Andes Paramo Podocarpus National Parkcollaborating with the Institute for the Management of Hydrographic Basins to implement a project to conserve Peruvian paramos. Its main purpose is to promote processes of conservation and the sustainable use of biodiversity and water sources in highland ecosystems. The project covers areas in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. A number of representatives from Nature & Culture International’s Ecuador and Peru offices also recently attended the 2nd World Paramos Conference together with close to one thousand scientists from around the world, children’s groups, and indigenous and rural communities. The multi-day event held at the Technical University of Loja in southern Ecuador was a knowledge sharing forum between scientists and the indigenous and rural peoples who live in the places they investigate. This union of scientific knowledge and ancestral knowledge is crucial in defining joint strategies for conservation and sustainable management in these unique areas.

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