Paper No. 322-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM
LARGE SCALE REMOTE REGION BASELINE DATA COLLECTION AND OUTREACH PRIOR TO PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF MULTIPLE MAJOR HYDROPOWER PROJECTS ON THE RIO MARANON, PERU
In regions with emerging economies, remote mountain rivers are increasingly threated by large-scale dams and hydropower projects. Development decisions are often made without critical baseline data that is needed to evaluate potential ecosystem vulnerability and manage future river system sustainability. In the summer of 2015, we initiated a survey to characterize 620 km of the Rio Maranon, Peru – from its headwaters in the Peruvian Andeans headwaters to its lower lying jungle connection to the Amazon region – prior to its dissection by several mega dams. Downstream continuous data collection included water quality and invertebrate samples. Additional outreach involved documentary filming, online data dissemination, oral presentations and even a childrens' book which has authenticated the impact of our work. Reaching out and connecting with people to build partnerships was, and continues to be, central to the ongoing success of this project. Partnerships are being maintained with National Geographic, Museo de Historia Natural UNMSM-Lima, Adventures for Science and Conservation, Sierra Rios, Maranon Waterkeeper, and the Centro de Capacitación en Conservación y Desarrollo Sostenible (CDS/CNEH-Peru). As the success of this project hinges on voluntary efforts made by contributors and a very limited budget, it expounds the potential for geoscience communication and environmental education, in the face of pressing societal problems.