Preserving Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Habitats
As part of the SCLC’s high school scholarship program, local students of Sarapiqui are involved in different activities supporting conservation measures and environmental education. On March 28, 2009, the younger portion of the Scholarship students participated in a hike to visit an Alemendro tree that was approximately 620 years old. The nature walk was co-lead by Colombian Forestry Engineer student, Mauricio Molina and SCLC director Andrew Rothman. Different themes were discussed in an open dialogue throughout the hike and the tour proved to be an educational experience for everyone involved. The students continued to develop their knowledge about the importance of land conservation as well as learned firsthand about the significance of interrelated themes such as biodiversity, wildlife identification, sustainability, ecosystems, and different habitats of an array of species. Mauricio and Andrew discussed different species of trees and plant life, various types of soil, native birds, as well as the interdependence of ecosystems and the vital role biodiversity plays in the survival of each species. Overall the students were able to grasp the concepts of conservation and understand their individual parts to contribute to ecological sustainability for the future of Sarapiquí.
In addition to our environmental education programs that focus on teaching conservation and environmental management to students, the SCLC has also initiated presentations on ecological themes for adult in the local communities. In March the SCLC had the opportunity to meet with local community members to review and discuss “Snakes: Myths and Truths”. With dangerous species such as the Fer-de-Lance snake roaming the local areas, our friends from the Clodomiro Picado Institute in San José explained ways to identify and address issues related to snakes.
In April, the SCLC was privileged to have Forestry Engineer Student Mauricio Molina from Universidad Nacional de Tolima, Colombia present “Adaptation and Establishment of a Nursery.” The objective of his presentation or ‘charla’ was to explain the significance of a plant nursery or ‘vivero’ as an alternative for environmental sustainability as well as a toolbox for community participation. While discussing the management of greenhouses, Mauricio presented the importance of equilibriums in the environment with respect to natural resources and our vital responsibility of conservation efforts for future generations. In addition, Mr. Molina described how linking different organizations or institutions with community members involved in ecological efforts is really important for the overall environmental sustainability of the area. Mauricio continued to illustrate the necessity for agricultural fields to be replenished and indicated that the majority of the deterioration caused by humankind. While elaborating on the establishment of new forests and improvement of agricultural practices as a response to the capacity of local communities toward conservation efforts, Mauricio stated that planting seeds today will benefit future generation.