1. Department. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. The Instituto de Ciencias Naturales is the largest research institution on the fauna, flora and ecosystems of Colombia. During 70 years it has led research on these fields, and it holds the largest collections of Colombian biota, including one of Latin America’s best palm collections. It comprises a staff of 36 faculty members specializing on the taxonomy, ecology and conservation of different biological groups, and on present and past ecology and ecosystem management.
2. Expertise. During the past 23 years the institute has been home to a strong palm research team, probably also the strongest in Latin America. This team, called Research Team on Neotropical Wild Palms, comprises two palm specialists and several graduate students, and has produced over 60 scientific publications on palms, including several studies on palm uses and on sustainable management of palms, some of which have been the base for current conservation actions. The institute leads graduate programs on systematics, ecology, palynology, paleoecology, wildlife management, and conservation, and consults the government regarding conservation and commerce of endangered species.
3. Main contributions of the team to the project: The group will lead WP 5 - Sustainability and management of resources and particpate in WP 4 - Small Industries and Trade Based on Palm Products and WP 2 - Ecosystem resilience and limits of functioning, and also to WP 8 - Communication on disemination of the project’s results.
Participating researchers ICN-UN