Measuring and mapping the ecosystem services related to water quality of highlands in the Central Andes of South America

Pablo Prado arbetar inom ett SIDA-finansierat projekt och doktorerar vid Lunds universitet. Från och med april 2023 och ett år framåt är Pablo i Sverige för att bearbeta data från fältstudier i Bolivia.

Pablo's research is focused on measuring and mapping the ecosystem services related to water quality of highlands in the Central Andes of South America, using remote sensing techniques, spatial analysis tools and field sampling data. Given the alarming rate of degradation of the ecosystems on the planet, the reduction in the potential for ecosystem services supply, and its effects on human welfare, the concept of ecosystem services has increased relevance in the last few decades. At the same time, there has been a significant rise in scientifically supported evidence on High Andean aquatic ecosystems. However, more studies are needed in order to measure and understand ecosystems services related to quality and availability of water resources, with a landscape approach at multiple spatial scales; because it is still a large knowledge gap for policy and decision makers. The study sites consist of two prioritized watersheds near Cochabamba, the third most populated city in Bolivia.

Which challenges do you see as the most interesting to work with in the water sector?
Globally one of the most important challenges is a growing water demand in a complex scenario of climate change, water pollution and scarcity, land cover changes and social economical inequalities, especially in less developed countries where vulnerable aquatic ecosystems are at higher risk. However, understanding the benefits that aquatic ecosystems provide to the human beings (ecosystem services), directly and indirectly, is crucial to achieve an integrated water resources management using innovative technologies and knowledge.

Doktorand: Pablo Prado
Handledare: Kenneth M Persson, LTH, Carla Oporto och Danny Rejas, Univesidad Mayor de San Simòn, Cochabamba.
Biträdande handledare: Karin Jönsson, LTH
Universitet: Lunds universitet/Univesidad Mayor de San Simòn, Cochabamba, Bolivia

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