A key part of our work is knitting together a network ranging from grassroots actors to international institutions, working together to create positive environmental change in Azuero.
The Azuero Eco Artisans group brings together women and girls from rural communities in the Azuero peninsula to create hand-crafted products from locally sourced, sustainable materials that they can sell to support their families and communities. The communities where the Eco Artisans live are associated with our ecological corridor, which has been mapped to strategically reforest and unify patches of tropical dry forest to fortify the area's resilience against the effects of climate change.
Pro Eco Azuero has supported the creation of environmental committees in rural communities of Azuero losing their livelihoods to climate change. Environmental committees provide training in sustainable agricultural practices as well as resources to build community tree nurseries to cultivate seedlings that will provide much-needed income for these communities. These seedlings will contribute to reforesting the Azuero peninsula, making their communities climate-resilient and restoring habitat for endangered wildlife.
Among our collaborators are educational institutions. We host students and faculty that perform research or conduct internships that intersect and engage with Pro Eco Azuero's programs. The Azuero offers a perfect combination of remoteness and easy access, excellent scientific documentation, research projects in progress, good accommodations, and a well-equipped laboratory.
Resources for Collaborators
Resources at our Pedasí office: temporary lodging digital and print library, high speed WiFi, research assistants. We also hold community activities and educational workshops here.
In 2003 PRORENA (Native Species Reforestation Project), an affiliate of The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute STRI, started native tree species test plots. These plots are providing valuable information on reforestation possibilities for targeted purposes in the difficult Azuero environment and demonstration plots for those stakeholders interested in reforestation. Researchers from Yale and PRORENA have used these as a resource for research on secondary succession and carbon sequestration
The nearby Achotines Laboratory is the only place in the world where Yellow Fin Tuna have been spawning in captivity since 1996. It is adjacent to one of the Azuero’s largest intact dry coastal forests. The Achotines lab constantly receives groups of visiting students and scientists and has researcher accommodations available.
As we continue to work with private landowners to reforest strategic areas of Azuero, these new reforestation sites serve as wonderful study sites for research on the impacts of reforestation on wildlife and farmland productivity.