Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program Takes Second Place in Worldwide Competition

39889692The Omora Park and the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program (joint efforts between the Universidad de Magallanes, the University of North Texas and the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity) were recently awarded second place in the 2010 Raanan Weitz Competition, an annual, worldwide call for proposals on innovative strategies to achieve sustainable development.

The submission, led by Dr. Ricardo Rozzi and Dr. J. Baird Callicott with the support of Dr. Francisca Massardo of the Universidad de Magallanes and UNT undergraduate student Kelli Moses, was entitled “The Omora Ethnobotanical Park: Conceptual and Methodological Advances for Linking Ecological Sustainability and Social Well Being in Southern South America.”

Theory meets practice in this model framework that uniquely integrates philosophy and ethics with real life working applications in ecotourism and conservation. The success of sustainability hinges, in part, on making the results of academic pursuits more accessible to larger audiences. ‘This project is an example of academic research engaging both university and local communities; not only does it facilitate the dialogue on conservation with collaborators throughout the Americas, but it also provides a meaningful context for local individuals and institutions to learn the value of place through the lens of multiple academic disciplines – from the humanities to the sciences – and also the value of traditional ecological knowledge from multiple cultural perspectives’ says Dr. Christopher Anderson, coordinator of the Sub-Antarctic Ecosystems and Biocultural Conservation research cluster.

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