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Monar C.,State University of Bolivar, Guaranda | Saavedra A.K.,PROINPA | Escudero L.,INIAP | Delgado J.A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Soil and Water Conservation | Year: 2013

The USAID, SANREM, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University project has made and continues to make an excellent impact, specifically showcas- ing the positive results of soil and water conservation (Barrera et al. 2010a, 2010b, 2012). This project has strong international cooperation between the United States, Ecuador, and Bolivia. The project has contributed to the implementation of conservation on the ground in the Andean region of South America, based on strong partnership with local institutions, universities, and farmers. Farmers have been a key component of this success by allowing the implementation of demonstration projects on their farms under local commercial farming operations. Personal visits with farmers revealed that these types of projects can contribute to the training of additional local farmers, with field days that show the benefits of these studies. These newly implemented conservation practices are helping reduce the risk of erosion and potentially increasing economic returns for the farmers as well as promoting sustainability of local systems. With the challenges we will be up against in the twenty-first century, such as climate change and growth of the human population, soil sustainability will be key in efforts to achieve food security and soil and water conservation across all global sites. This USAID project serves as an example of positive impacts in sustainability at the farmer level (Barrera et al. 2010b).

Carbonel D.,University of Zaragoza | Rodriguez-Tribaldos V.,University of Zaragoza | Gutierrez F.,University of Zaragoza | Galve J.P.,University of Zaragoza | And 6 more authors.
Geomorphology | Year: 2015

This contribution analyses a complex sinkhole cluster buried by urban elements in the mantled evaporite karst of Zaragoza city, NE Spain, where active subsidence has caused significant economic losses (~. 0.3. million Euro). The investigation, conducted after the development of the area, has involved the application of multiple surface and subsurface techniques. A detailed map of modern surface deformation indicates two active coalescing sinkholes, whereas the interpretation of old aerial photographs reveals the presence of two additional dormant sinkholes beneath human structures that might reactivate in the near future. DInSAR (Differential Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar) displacement data have limited spatial coverage mainly due to high subsidence rates and surface changes (re-pavement), and the Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and trenching investigations were severely restricted by the presence of urban elements. Nonetheless, the three techniques consistently indicate that the area affected by subsidence is larger than that defined by surface deformation features. The performance of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technique was adversely affected by the presence of highly conductive and massive anthropogenic deposits, but some profiles reveal that subsidence in the central sector of one of the sinkholes is mainly accommodated by sagging. The stratigraphic and structural relationships observed in a trench dug across the topographic margin of one of the sinkholes may be alternatively interpreted by three collapse events of around 0.6. m that occurred after 290. yr BP, or by progressive fault displacement combined with episodic anthropogenic excavation and fill. Average subsidence rates of >. 6.6. mm/yr and 40. mm/yr have been calculated using stratigraphic markers dated by the radiocarbon method and historical information, respectively. This case study illustrates the need of conducting thorough investigations in sinkhole areas during the pre-planning stage including a geomorphic approach. A sound geomorphic model is essential for the proper design of the site investigation, the interpretation of the data and application of effective mitigation measures. Once sinkhole areas are developed, urban elements largely restrict the applicability and performance of multiple techniques, substantially decreasing the feasibility and benefit/effort ratio of the investigations. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Spiegel J.M.,University of British Columbia | Breilh J.,University Andina Siman Bolivar | Beltran E.,Serv. Nac. de Control de Los Enferm. Transmitida Por Los Artrapodos Ministerio de Salud Publica | Beltran E.,Technical University of Machala | And 12 more authors.
BMC International Health and Human Rights | Year: 2011

Background: The Sustainably Managing Environmental Health Risk in Ecuador project was launched in 2004 as a partnership linking a large Canadian university with leading Cuban and Mexican institutes to strengthen the capacities of four Ecuadorian universities for leading community-based learning and research in areas as diverse as pesticide poisoning, dengue control, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness. Methods. In implementing curriculum and complementary innovations through application of an ecosystem approach to health, our interdisciplinary international team focused on the question: Can strengthening of institutional capacities to support a community of practice of researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and communities produce positive health outcomes and improved capacities to sustainably translate knowledge? To assess progress in achieving desired outcomes, we review results associated with the logic framework analysis used to guide the project, focusing on how a community of practice network has strengthened implementation, including follow-up tracking of program trainees and presentation of two specific case studies. Results: By 2009, train-the-trainer project initiation involved 27 participatory action research Masters theses in 15 communities where 1200 community learners participated in the implementation of associated interventions. This led to establishment of innovative Ecuadorian-led masters and doctoral programs, and a Population Health Observatory on Collective Health, Environment and Society for the Andean region based at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar. Building on this network, numerous initiatives were begun, such as an internationally funded research project to strengthen dengue control in the coastal community of Machala, and establishment of a local community eco-health centre focusing on determinants of health near Cuenca. Discussion. Strengthening capabilities for producing and applying knowledge through direct engagement with affected populations and decision-makers provides a fertile basis for consolidating capacities to act on a larger scale. This can facilitate the capturing of benefits from the top down (in consolidating institutional commitments) and the bottom up (to achieve local results). Conclusions: Alliances of academic and non-academic partners from the South and North provide a promising orientation for learning together about ways of addressing negative trends of development. Assessing the impacts and sustainability of such processes, however, requires longer term monitoring of results and related challenges. © 2011 Spiegel et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Sarute N.,University of the Republic of Uruguay | Perez R.,University of the Republic of Uruguay | Aldaz J.,State University of Bolivar, Guaranda | Alfieri A.A.,State University Londrina | And 6 more authors.
Virus Genes | Year: 2014

Canine distemper virus (CDV, Paramyxoviridae, Morbillivirus) is the causative agent of a severe infectious disease affecting terrestrial and marine carnivores worldwide. Phylogenetic relationships and the genetic variability of the hemagglutinin (H) protein and the fusion protein signal-peptide (Fsp) allow for the classification of field strains into genetic lineages. Currently, there are nine CDV lineages worldwide, two of them co-circulating in South America. Using the Fsp-coding region, we analyzed the genetic variability of strains from Uruguay, Brazil, and Ecuador, and compared them with those described previously in South America and other geographical areas. The results revealed that the Brazilian and Uruguayan strains belong to the already described South America lineage (EU1/SA1), whereas the Ecuadorian strains cluster in a new clade, here named South America 3, which may represent the third CDV lineage described in South America. © Springer Science+Business Media 2014.

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