Andean tropical forests are biodiversity hotspots and carbon sinks of critical relevance for the planet. Andean forests’ biological diversity provides critical ecosystem services to millions of people in the region. Several lines of evidence suggest that land-use change and raising temperatures are causing diversity loss, and
therefore, are expected to result in a decreased provision of environmental services to human populations. A solid understanding of the capacity of Andean forests to sustain and recover diversity after disturbance, considering landscape complexity and global environmental change is critical to drive actions of conservation
and sustainable development of Andean forest landscapes. Therefore, the overarching goal of the proposed project is to improve our understanding of Andean forest responses to environmental change and its capacity to recover after disturbance, to guide restoration and conservation programs, while training a new generation
and ecologists and enhancing the research capacity of local institutions. We will achieve this goal through interdisciplinary scientific work lead by high-level researchers working at six institutions in four different countries (Belgium, Ecuador, Germany, UK), training new scientists through post-graduate studies and
thematic courses, and enhancing the research capacity of local institutions and scientists. A direct influence of the project’s findings on restoration and conservation practices and policies will be achieved through a close collaboration with a network of stakeholders working at local and regional scales as part of the government, of
national and international NGO’s, and the civil society.