It is now mid january and I have been back in Europe for the best part of a month. Since my return things have been somewhat hectic at home and I have spent my time jetting back and forth between Brussels and Manchester, and being neither here nor there for the most of it. The end of the field season went extremely well. Nathan and I managed to finish gathering all the data and our time in Chontacocha was exceedingly productive. We managed to cut and sample all the transects and do all of the household interviews in half the time we spent in Payamino. I have slowly been crunching my way through the data. The idea being not solely to figure out which places are more biodiverse than others but to determine whether we can look at socio-economic variables such as agriculture and use them to try and predict the state of the environment.
I am flying back to Ecuador at the end of february to take part in a meeting organized by the German Development Service, the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment and the Sumaco Proyect. They are currently trying to set up a research network of all the people working in the Gran Sumaco Biosphere Reserve and the National Park. It should be interesting since there a few universities and research institutions that work in the area. I have been asked to present some of the preliminary results and also meet with the Minister of the Environment, which is quite exciting.
The Gran Sumaco Periphery