The ecology of peace: preparing Colombia for new political and planetary climates

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Current efforts for achieving peace in Colombia and ongoing changes in global climate will combine to shape the future of Colombia’s tropical forests, one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots. A new paper led by Alejandro Salazar (PhD 2017, Biological Sciences; currently a postdoc researcher at the University of Iceland) examines the potential impacts of these transformative events, emphasizing that ecosystem management decisions made within Colombia now can have local to global consequences. Co-authors include Purdue graduate student Maria del Rosario Uribe (Biological Sciences) and professors Jeffrey Dukes (Forestry and Natural Resources and Biological Sciences) and Qianlai Zhuang (Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and Agronomy) along with an international team of researchers from Universidad del Rosario, Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad EIA, University of Exeter, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, University of Miami, Columbia University, EAFIT University, the Wallingford Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry.

In a nutshell, to prevent or mitigate ecological and environmental degradation, the research team recommends the Colombian government prioritize rural development in non-forested areas, strengthen environmental research (with a focus on intensive environmental monitoring), and engage scientists in decision-making processes.

Salazar, A., A. Sanchez, J. C. Villegas, J. F. Salazar, D. R. Carrascal, S. Sitch, J. D. Restrepo, G. Poveda, K. J. Feeley, L. M. Mercado, P. A. Arias, C. A. Sierra, M. del Rosario Uribe, A. M. Rendón, J. C. Pérez, G. M. Tortarolo, D. Mercado-Bettin, J. A. Posada, Q. Zhuang and J. S. Dukes (2018). The ecology of peace: preparing Colombia for new political and planetary climates. Front Ecol Environ, 16(9): 1–7.

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