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Major Grant to Aid Forest Restoration


Bournemouth University’s School of Conservation Sciences has been awarded a major research grant to study the restoration of forest landscapes in Latin America.

The £1.2 million (1,720,000 Euro) grant from the European Commission’s INCO-DEV programme is one of the largest awards ever received by the University. The project will bring researchers from Bournemouth together with colleagues from organisations in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Spain and Italy over the next three years. INCO-DEV is the research arm of the European Commission that supports research projects in developing countries.

The collaborative project entitled ‘Restoration of forest landscapes for biodiversity conservation and rural development in Latin America’ (ReForLan) will investigate the potential for the restoration of natural forests in the dry land areas of Chile, Argentina and Mexcio through a range of state-of-the-art techniques.

“Dry forests are as important in supporting local communities in Central and South America as rain forests, perhaps even moreso,” says Dr Adrian Newton, Senior Lecturer with Bournemouth University’s Environmental and Geographical Sciences Group, who will head the project. “They are also amongst the most threatened forests in the world but they have largely been neglected by previous research.

“We’ll be working with developing country partners to redress this balance by using our research to analyse how the restoration of degraded lands can be achieved in a way that will contribute to rural development, as well as biodiversity conservation. In recent years these forests have been highly degraded as a result of logging, fire and conversion to agriculture, but our belief is that it is not too late to reverse these processes and restore these forests to something like their former value. The challenge will be to find ways of doing this that support the economic development of the communities that live there.”

Charles Elder | alfa
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