- Biodiversity conservation is promoted through monitoring
June 9, 2023. Since 2019, the Municipality of San Andres Itzapa, in the department of Chimaltenango, Guatemala has developed biological monitoring processes through field surveys in more than 500 hectares of forests and water sources in its territory. In addition, in 2021, in collaboration with CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), camera traps and audio devices were installed to strengthen this monitoring. Currently, the municipality and CATIE have resumed the process, in order to analyze the lessons learned and visualize actions in the medium and short term to promote the sustainability of both monitoring and natural resource management.
In this sense, with the active participation of the technical team of the Municipal Environmental Management Unit (UGAM, its Spanish acronym), the scientific support of New College of Florida and in the framework of the Landscape Connectivity and Livelihoods in Four Municipalities of Region 3 of the Volcanic Chain Project (MARN-UNDP), a workshop was held to socialize the results and proposals for actions to promote biological monitoring in San Andres Itzapa.
This workshop was attended by 30 people, representatives of institutions such as: Municipality of San Andrés Itzapa, Association of Tourist Guides in San José Calderas, MARN-UNDP project and CATIE's technical team.
Gerardo Cuxil, head of the UGAM of San Andrés Itzapa, appreciated the learning and indicated that the workshop helped to advance the process and above all to strengthen the vision for the management of flora, fauna and biodiversity in the forests under municipal administration.
During the workshop, José Soto-Shoender, researcher and professor at New College of Florida, presented the results of the biological monitoring, highlighting that in 350 hectares of forest observed in the municipality, 134 species of birds were recorded through acoustic monitoring and 29 species of birds and 10 species of mammals were reported through camera trap data.
Biological monitoring is important because it promotes the conservation of biodiversity in interrelation and self-regulation of species, allowing a healthy ecosystem with multiple benefits, for example, ecotourism, bird watching, applied scientific research and the provision of goods and services in general.
"The workshop activities were very productive. It is encouraging to see the interest and enthusiasm that exists among the stakeholders, especially from the UGAM of San Andres Itzapa and its entire staff, in actively participating in the protection of their natural resources. I consider this exchange of experiences and knowledge a great success, as I learned a lot about the biological and traditional knowledge that the workshop attendees have regarding the resources of their ecosystems. I am very pleased to be able to collaborate with them in a project like this that can bring many benefits to the community and its natural resources and that can also serve as a model to be replicated in the region," said Soto-Shoender.
Follow-up and implementation actions will be carried out during the second half of 2023 and will continue with the management of alternatives to ensure that the municipality achieves sustainable management of its biodiversity.
More information/written by:
Project Coordinator CATIE-Volcanoes