The Biological Corridor COBIGA in Costa Rica. Reforestacion-Restauration and forest protection in the tropics.
A Lecture with Anton Weissenhofer
The aim of the La Gamba biological corridor (COBIGA) is to connect the lowland rainforests of the Golfo Dulce region with the upland rainforests of the Fila Cal, a mountain range north of the Regenwald der Österreicher. In a collaboration between the Verein Regenwald der Österreicher, Regenwald Luxemburg, Tropical station La Gamba and the local community, selected areas are being reforested with native trees in a scientifically informed way. As a result of economic, social and political developments, recent decades have seen an enormous amount of deforestation throughout the tropics, including in Central America and especially in Costa Rica. The establishment of monocultures of export crops such as bananas, oil palms and pineapples, and the enlargement of pastures for meat production, have led to the destruction of primary habitats and severe fragmentation of the remaining forest. In 1996, the dramatic rate of deforestation in Costa Rica was lessend by a strict forest law, but the regeneration of damaged areas is still a huge challenge for ecologists.
Anton Weissenhofer studied Biology and did his PhD at the University of Vienna. His main research areas are Vegetation science, conservation, plant functional types. Since 2001 he is the Coordinator of the Tropical Field Station La Gamba and holds a teaching position in Tropical ecosystems at the University of Vienna. He has coordinated several books and environmental projects in the Golfo Dulce region . Since 2010 he is a senior scientist at the University of Vienna and the chairman of Lateinamerikaforschung Austria (LAF Austria).