Presentation cancelled by author

Understanding rural development and ecosystem conservation from a socioecological landscape approach: combining resilience research, soundscape monitoring and livelihoods assessment in Colo

(Oral and Poster)

Martin Bermudez-Urdaneta
Camila Parra-Guevara


For conservation biology is essential to assess ecosystems sustainability encompassing nature-society dynamics, ecological effectiveness, social equity and economic opportunities. Assessments are needed across a wide array of managerial conservation arrangements and specific production contexts. We have researched Tota Lake and surrounding páramo ecosystems as unique case of Andean productive landscapes intertwined with vital terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We combine sociecological systems, landscape ecology and political economy to study resilience of rural landscapes, departing from Satoyama Initiative (UNU-IAS et al., 2014) proposed toolkit, and enhancing it ecologically by incorporating soundscape ecology to study biophony, geophony and anthrophony and describe acoustic complexity in holistic fashion (Pijanowski &al, 2011), and economically by including rural livelihoods assessments to link local production decisions and conservation strategies (Scoones, 2009). Our research perspective tackles sustainable development complexity in 4 aspects: 1) scale, by studying local case; 2) multidimensionality, by proposing an overarching approach landscape and soundscape ecology; 3) multi-stakeholder involvement, by co-researching with local inhabitants, organizations, and policy-makers; and 4) relevant results, by offering soundscape descriptions and livelihood assessments in comprehensive yet understandable fashion. We characterize socioecological production landscapes, recorded soundscapes along altitude gradient between paramos and lake borders, and accounted for livelihoods located amidst rural landscape. We gathered data from participatory workshops, 20 interviews, 300 surveys, and 1116 soundscape recordings collected in 4 different sites with continuous monitoring. Given 5 dimensions of Satoyama Initiative to research socioecological production landscapes, our preliminary research findings are: 1) landscape diversity and ecosystem protection with extreme transformation in low and middle sectors of Tota basin, eroded ecological connectivity between paramos and wetland, since soundscapes exhibit increasing biophonic simplification;
2) biodiversity including agricultural components with high-vulnerability of traditional tuberous crops, diet simplification, and low biodiversity along soundscapes recorded; 3) knowledge and innovation presenting gradual decrease of traditional knowledge to use local flora, and increasing gap between generations on their awareness of visual and acoustic richness of surrounding biodiversity; 4) governance and social equity hampered by miscommunication between national authorities and local producers, uneven dependance of downstream creeks; 5) livelihoods and wellbeing with hopeful local enterprises for slow and fragile diversification, aiming for better agricultural practices and for food security with small-scale family greenhouse