Georgia Southern University Signs MOU with Mindo Cloudforest Foundation of Milpe, Ecuador
On January 21st, 2015, Georgia Southern University officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mindo Cloudforest Foundation of Milpe, Ecuador to form the “Georgia Southern University- Human-Environment Research Station” (GS-HERS). The GS-HERS will provide research and development support to green, sustainable projects that serve to promote conservation, tropical reforestation, and community development. Establishing a base at Milpe in association with the MCF will be a significant step in furthering Georgia Southern’s research pedigree, while providing a unique opportunity for long-term research to the benefit of faculty and students alike. The Human-Environment Research Station (HERS) at Milpe will offer not just an ecological research station but much, much more. It will be an interdisciplinary station whose principle aim is to research and support the development of green sustainable initiatives that benefit members of local communities across Northwest Ecuador.
About Mindo CloudForest Foundation:
The Mindo Cloudforest Foundation, founded in December 2001, is an Ecuadorian non-profit, non-government organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of bird habitat in the Ecuadorian Andes. MCF seeks to promote bird tourism as an alternative means of income in rural communities. MCF also works on reforestation as a means to fight climate change. As part of their mission, the Mindo Cloudforest Foundation is planting native species trees in the Northwestern Ecuadorian Andes with the support of various partners in the US and Europe, most notably Telenet, the largest telecommunications company in Belgium. Thus their CarbonNeg initiative is working to mitigate the effects of climate change through reforestation and conservation.
Objectives for the Future of GS-HERS:
In association with MCF the HERS will offer faculty, undergraduates and graduate students at Georgia Southern the opportunity to conduct innovative and ground-breaking research in numerous areas of the social and environmental sciences. Potential avenues of research in this geographic setting include: reforestation, climate change mitigation, ecotourism, land use/land cover change, sustainable livelihoods in rural communities, transportation geographies, sustainable development, transnational connections, and the myriad ecological and economic issues derived from these activities.
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