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  • ItemOpen Access
    Evaluación de las capacidades, las percepciones y los resultados del programa de monitoreo campesino de las aves en la zona de amortiguamiento del Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano, Chiapas, México
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2012) Lowry, Jennifer, author
    Conservation corridors are important for maintaining a contiguous landscape and con provide refugia, resources and habitat microclimates for wildlife. Shade-grown coffee is an important agricultural crop that promotes connectivity in and around El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, that is part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor in Chiapas, Mexico. Monitoring programs can be a tool to evaluate and enhance conservation success, as well as resource management on private land or communally managed ejido lands. As conservation efforts seek to build capacity for large-scale monitoring of the effectiveness of corridors, there is interest in seeing the degree to which citizen science monitoring programs could be an effective approach, at the site level up to the landscape and regional levels. This project evaluated data quality collected by campesino monitors on bird species, environmental perceptions, attitudes, and cobenefits resulting from a Citizen Science Monitoring Program initiated by a non-governmental organization, Pronatura Sur. Perceptions and attitudes regarding nature were transformed positively since implementation of the program. Many communities made hand painted signs that promote conservation. Results show that program design may need to be simplified to ensure better quality data and reduce potential bias and increase confidence in data, and that additional training is needed in conducting point counts. Species codes should not be used due to spelling errors, instead full scientific names should be written out. Reinforcing the concept of standardization is crucial to reduce bias. Supplying field guides on vegetation, as well as watches, can improve data quality. Monitor's perceptions and attitudes on nature were impacted, resulting in increased understanding of the environment and the need to conserve resources in this area. Monitors were evaluated through point count comparisons and surveys. Results of this project provided insight on the bird monitoring program, identified strengths and weaknesses, and acts as a lens for the iterative process to achieve the goal of strengthening conservation efforts in the multi-country Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A mobile system for community based natural resource monitoring: a case study in the Sierra Madre, Chiapas
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2012) Calo, Adam, author; Tyson, Elizabeth, author; Goldstein, Josh, committee member; Klein, Julia, committee member; Vázquez, Lius-Bernardo, committee member; Naranjo, Eduardo J., committee member
    Community Based Natural Resource Monitoring (CBNRM) is a potential strategy to enable that Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes reach their intended effect of conserving ecosystem services like water provision, carbon sequestration and storage, and biodiversity conservation while strengthening small scale agroforestry systems that are indicated to both adapt to and mitigate climate change. However, CBNRM requires low-cost, easy to learn, replicable and adaptable methodologies that can be verified by independent third parties. Organizations like the Global Canopy Program and the Community Forest Monitoring Working Group are supporting the development of mobile data collection tools that have the potential to address many of the equity, efficiency and effectiveness concerns of the UN's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD+) as well as provide additional benefits like empowering local communities with the tools to make informed decisions about their natural resources. We tested the viability of these mobile monitoring tools for data collection using Android compatible phones and the freeware program Open Data Kit(ODK) in the buffer zone of the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, Mexico. In collaboration with the coffee cooperative Comon Yaj Noptic and a private coffee farm and reserve Finca Arroyo Negro, we carried out 190 sampling events with four community volunteer monitors between September and December 2011. Using this novel technology platform we tested 6 different monitoring targets: avian biodiversity point counts, above ground biomass, incidence of rare species, forest utility, land-use and internal control for coffee production. The opportunities to the mobile system are: the ability to collect large amounts and different types of data for little effort/cost while using one system, the system can be learned by users of varying technical experience, and the potential for aligning the economic interests in using the system to automate internal control with conservation goals. The greatest barrier is a lack of supporting organizational infrastructure for database management and support. For this mobile system to be realized in the region there must be significant investment in developing the back-end of the mobile system (database management and analysis) and continuous technical support and training for the community volunteers. We suggest that Pronatura Sur is best suited or this role since they have already invested significant effort into developing community based natural resource monitoring programs in the region.