Department of Systematic Botany (University of Aarhus) has a team of 6 permanently employed, 5 grant funded senior scientists, 7–10 Ph.D.-students, and 9 technicians and office staff. The department is dedicated to research in tropical rain forests, savannas and deciduous forest, not least in the Andean countries. It has a herbarium with 700.000 specimens that is one of the most important collections of plants from the Andes in the World. The department offers courses in plant taxonomy, plant taxonomic methods, project design and biostatistical methods, plant geography and vegetation ecology. About 30 students (Ph.D. and M.Sc.) graduated from the department within the last five years. The Department offers Ph.D.-courses and summer schools in topics regarding the tropical vegetation cover. It is the lead-institution in the Danish Ph.D.-school in Biodiversity (ISOBIS) with participation of 13 Danish research institutions and 30 key-supervisors ( The department has ample experience in institutional collaboration with partners in developing countries, and has participated in two 1st generation Danida-funded Enreca-projects, and two capacity building and curriculum development projects funded by Danced in SE Asia .


The Instituto de Ecología (Department of Biology, Faculty of Pure and Natural Sciences, Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz) was founded in 1978. It is the largest and most important ecological research and training center in Bolivia, and has grown during the past 25 years partly through it own internal dynamism, but always closely related to the well established and much older Universidad Mayor San Andrés, that is the largest university in the capital La Paz, and also in Bolivia. The permanent staff of Instituto de Ecología consists of 24 academic positions. There are 40 thesis students and seven technicians in eight research units: Botany, Zoology, Limnology, Soils, Environmental Quality Laboratory, Botanical Garden, Space Analysis Center , and M.Sc. Program. All units contribute to courses and research: in Taxonomy (plant, animal), Biogeography, and Ecology. The two main biodiversity research centers, Herbario Nacional de Bolivia (founded 1984), and Colección Boliviana de Fauna (founded 1987) were established with the Bolivian Science Academy as counterpart. The Herbarium has 7 permanent researchers, 10 associate researchers, 1 technician, 4 administrative staff, and 24 thesis students. The herbarium with approximately 110.000 specimens is the largest Bolivian herbarium, and it is open to the local and international scientific community. In lack of a printed flora the herbarium also serves the non-scientific community as the only means of identification of Bolivian plants. Colección de Fauna has a collection mainly of vertebrates, badly in need of modernization. It has 7 permanent researchers, 2 technicians, and 10 thesis students.


Facultad de Ciencias Agrícolas (Universidad Nacional de Loja, Ecuador) is a faculty in a state owned university that teaches applied sciences in agronomy, animal sciences, forestry and administration. The project counterpart is the herbarium that has about 25.000 specimens and is staffed with a director and a curator and three technical staff. This herbarium has a long history, being funded in the 1930s, and it has provided teaching in botany and local flora to agronomy and forestry students. During the past 10 years the herbarium has become an independent research unit that carries out projects related to inventories, vegetation surveys, economic botany and other similar topics, and research projects have been funded by external sources. The herbarium also host students who carry out their thesis research for their degrees (Ing. Forestal, Ing. Agronomo). This herbarium is the most important scientific biodiversity reference collection in southern Ecuador .


Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas (Universidad Católica del Ecuador). The university is private and its biology department is the largest in the country with an academic staff of 30 and a technical staff of 15. The herbarium (QCA) has about 250.000 specimens and is staffed with a director and two curators. There are about 10 students carrying out their thesis research in the herbarium and it functions as a major focal point for international collaborations in ecology and botany, and is counter part in several small and large collaborative projects of which the most important ones are with STRI (Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute), University of Amsterdam, Turku and Aarhus (an EU-funded project on Non-Timber-Forest Products). The herbarium and its small reference  library are being consulted by an ever increasing number of local users (companies, students researchers, public and private organizations) who seek information on Ecuadorian plants and ecology; approximately 300 visits by non-scientists are attended each year.


Other Danish Institutions. The Institute of Medicinal Chemistry, at the Royal Danish Pharmaceutical University will contribute with courses in chemo-taxonomy and secondary product chemistry, isolation and identification. The present project will collaborate with an on-going Enreca-project based at the Section of Forestry at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University , aimed to strengthen capacity of forest management particularly for timber production in the lowland forests of Bolivia.


Danida - Rådet for Udviklingsforskning (RUF)


Steering Committee

Dr. Mario Baudoin - La Paz (chairman)

Dr. Finn Borchsenius - Aarhus (co-chair)

Dr. Laura Arcos Terán - Quito

Dr. Reinaldo Valarezo García - Loja

Organization diagram of the Institutions involved in the Enreca-project

Biodiversity and Economically Important Species in the Tropical Andes — A Research Collaboration between Bolivia, Ecuador and Denmark


Principal Investigator

Henrik Balslev