Research will be carried out in collaboration between partners from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Denmark. Graduate student’s thesis projects will be an integral parts facilitating the “learning-by-doing” strategy, and university staff will participate and may receive grants facilitating research in subjects covered by the present project.

This research topic of economically important species deals with Economic Species in the Andean region, and much of it will be conducted in communities located in or near protected areas. The research has implications for the use, value and management of economically important species, and ecology, diversity, distribution, and secondary substances of plants are studied. Taking advantage of existing inventory, the project focuses on commonly used species, and investigate selected ones estimating the amounts of resources available, investigating traditional management practices, evaluate if present uses are sustainable, and alternatively propose better management schemes. A number of selected use categories will be studied, for instance based on natural products chemistry (human- and veterinary medicine, etc.) or structural properties (wood, fiber, etc.). For each category important species will be identified, and data concerning their uses, economic importance, and management will be gathered applying a variety of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Attention will be given to distribution of knowledge and practices according to gender, age, economic and social classes and ethnic groups, as differences between population segments may have important implications for sustainability and management. The ecology and variation of selected important species may also be investigated throughout the entire Andean region.

Currently the research programme has five research activities:
                                                                                    1. Tucumano-Boliviano forests
                                                                                    2. Elaeagia systematics
                                                                                    3. Palm ethnobotany
                                                                                    4. Palm ethnoecology
                                                                                    5. Economic botany informatics