Cologne University has been present at REGUA for more than a decade bringing students to study elements of the landscape.
Cologne Professor Udo Nehren supervised Masters student Marisa Kunze on the interface between landscape ecology and resource economics.
REGUA is interested in understanding the potential for expanding private protected areas in Rio de Janeiro. Professor Udo suggested evaluating ecosystem services that are provided/improved through setting up projects like REGUA (e.g. habitat quality, connectivity, erosion control, carbon storage, and also tourism visitation etc.) and how these can be assessed (qualitative, semi-quantitative, and where possible monetary). By evaluating the cost and benefits, one can determine profitability.
Outcomes like these can be used to promote REGUA and show the many ecological and social benefits that environmental projects can provide, especially important when thinking of upscaling to larger areas.
Marisa spent two months studying REGUA’s surface area, management agreements, and visitor data, completing this through interviews with local stakeholders to evaluate public perception. We look forward to reading the results, but it is work like this that can help shape the future for conservation projects such as REGUA.
Thank you Professor Udo and Marisa!