Martin Watts, Forest Conservation

Hi, I’m Martin, and I have just returned home following the completion of my internship with RUNA Foundation in agroforestry and forest conservation. I undertook this internship after graduating from my master’s in environmental change and international development at the University of Sheffield, whereby, agroforestry was central to a lot of my research. Thus, I thought it was only logical to continue in this field, and when the opportunity arose I grabbed it with both

2 Aug 2017

How to be More Conscious Consumer

Choose to have a positive impact on the Amazon Rainforest! Deforestation is a response to the market driven demand of several products that can be easily found in US stores; namely palm oil, soy bean, and cattle. All three industries operate in the Amazon region and are responsible for the majority of recent deforestation. While the individual may not have a say implementing policy changes to protect the Amazon, they can cast their vote as

Medicinal Plants of the Amazon

Since my short time here in the Ecuadorian Amazon began, I have been completely and utterly blown away by the endless array of medicine that people pull from the forest here. It seems that every Kichwa person I have been in the jungle with, whether an old man or a child, knows exactly which plants can be used for which ailments. I had a small cut, that was getting infected with the constant river dips

Farmer Story: A couple who planted 6,500 guayusa trees

  Guayusa-farmer Manuel Narvaez Andy, his wife Esthella and their four young boys live in the Kichwa community of Mushullakta, Napo-province.   “We have been selling guayusa for five years now”, Manuel reveals. “Last year, Esthella and I sold 400 pounds of fresh leaves to RunaTarpuna”.   Manuel and Esthella own a chakra of 30 hectares. Apart from their 6,500 trees of guayusa, they grow a large variety of different plants in their agroforestry system,

Monitoring the Contribution of Agroforestry Systems to Biodiversity Conservation

A renowned professor of Tropical Forestry and expert on agroforestry systems at Yale University, Dr. Florencia Montagnini is teaming up with Runa Foundation to lead our new research on how growing guayusa in agroforestry systems helps to sustain biodiversity.   In Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Landscapes, Agroforestry is defined as “a dynamic, ecologically based natural resource management practice that, through the integration of trees and other tall woody plants on farms and in

Mixed planting of trees and short-cycle crops increases productivity and ensures successful land restoration

  Rotating agroforestry fund set to finance forest restoration within buffer zone of Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park by pairing tree planting with agricultural micro-loans to guayusa farmers.   Napo, Ecuador. -  “Restoration is not quite the same as reforestation”, explains program director Sydney Nilan as we arrive to Mushullakta, a Kichwa-community in Napo-province. “In restoration, your main goal is to recover the ecological integrity of degraded land, we want to restore a forest-like structure and

Muru Inchi, una Variedad Amazónica de Maní

El proyecto de Muru Inchi se enfoca en la expansión comercial de una variedad amazónica de maní, conocida científicamente como Arachis hypogaea L. El plan se ejecutará con dos aliados de Fundación Runa: la comunidad Puni Katona, especialmente con el grupo de mujeres involucradas con el maní; así como con la asociación Tsatsayaku, ambos ubicados en la provincia de Napo en Ecuador. Jenny Grefa Para perfeccionar el proyecto se han realizado tres reuniones estratégicas, la

La collecte de données GPS Dans les fermes agroforestières

Cette semaine Leonidas (technicien agricole et agent de liaison avec les communautés) et moi-même, nous nous sommes rendus 2 jours dans la communauté Oritoyaku. Ce village de 80 personnes va prochainementêtre relié à une route. Le développement connaitra une forte augmentation avec l’accès notamment à différents projets de Sylviculture et de reforestation jusqu’ici limités par le manque d’infrastructure routier.   La collecte de données GPS des différentes Fincas (fermes) fut l’objectif principal de notre mission.

Proceso de Certificación Orgánica

Después de veinte minutos en un camino lleno de piedras y con la vista más preciosa a la cordiller de los andes cubierta de selva, llegamos a el pueblo de Puna Ishpingo. Ishpingo es el árbol amazónico que produce un aroma similar al de la canela comercial. Se preguntarán, bueno que tiene de especial esta canela amazónica ? Lo mismo me preguntaba yo hasta que llegamos a un árbol de 15 años de edad y

Community Development -Internship, Stephanie

Hola! I’m Stephanie, the slightly older of the typical interns at Runa Foundation, just entering now into the last of the 9 week I’ve spent here in the Amazon, and starting to feel the inklings of sadness as I know the goodbyes will be coming soon.   After finishing a master’s in environmental science and management back in 2013, I spent the next few years working in marine conservation and then switching gears and teaching