After more than a year of restoration work at Camp Altiplano, we are proud of what we have accomplished so far, and actively planning how we can accomplish more looking forward. Read more in our Camp Altiplano Restoration Plan:
The idea at the heart of the ecosystem restoration camp movement is a beautifully simple one. Let’s bring together people who want to restore degraded land and connect them to the knowledge and training they will need to become a global network of ecosystem restorers! As the first project born of this movement, part of our work at Camp Altiplano has been to begin finding out how this idea holds up in a real world context.
When we try to perform ecosystem restoration we always have to work with a complex of specific environmental, economic and social conditions. We have spent much of the last year at Camp Altiplano observing and coming to understand the unique set of conditions that exist here. By doing so we have been able to form a vision of what we think ecosystem restoration will look like here. The following plan explains how we to intend to achieve that vision and will provide a continuity of purpose as we move to the future. The time has come for Camp Altiplano to make this rallying cry and draw as many people as possible into the movement.
To explain our approach to restoration it is important to clarify the processes that caused degradation in the first place. As is so often the case, it began with the clearing of vegetation for mechanised agriculture. Agricultural practices that leave soil exposed to erosion through wind and rain increase the rate at which fertile topsoil is stripped from the land. The continuous use of heavy machines then creates a compacted layer in the soil, through which water and air cannot penetrate. The compacted soil, containing little organic matter, is then unable to effectively hold water. Ultimately a bare, compacted, impoverished soil is left, with little protection from the strong winds, baking sun and rare heavy rains that our land is accustomed to. A simple run-through of our approach to restoration is to increase the amount of water that can be held on our land, use it to build functional soil and then re-establish perennial vegetation.