SANDRA
ESPINOZA

Coordinator for Aves Quito Group

38 years old Hotel and Tourism Administration with specialization in Birdwatching, last four years involved Environmental Education and Citizen Science projects focused on Urban Ecology. Coordinator for Aves Quito group, member of the Urban Christmas Bird Count Committee in Quito and the Ecuador Bird Network Communication Commission. Since 2016 I have made several presentations about Urban Gardens, Birds and Climate Change. In 2017 I received Honorable Mention in Good Environmental Practices to reduce the Footprint and Care of the Natural Heritage granted by Secretary of the Environment - Municipality of Quito. In 2018 I approved the Cities and Climate Change course of UNFCCC and UN Habitat.

DESCRIBE YOUR MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET. 
The urban growth in the city has diminished the green spaces in which the flora and fauna develop, the vegetation is restricted to small gardens, parks and streams in which some species have managed to adapt and survive. My passion for birds and discover the diversity of species that we can find in the urban part of Quito led me to understand the importance of green spaces in cities to conserve biodiversity, improve the quality of population life and prevent the heat island effect is produced. So I turned my garden into a refuge for urban flora and fauna in which I now receive the visit of 20 species of birds.

Birds warn us how climate change represents a risk to nature and people, help us to generate initiatives for the conservation of natural systems that we need to survive. With the creation of a Friendly Gardens Corridor we intend to recover the green spaces encouraging the use of native plants to increase their ecological resistance, connecting the population with nature and creating awareness about the conservation of our natural heritage, thus contributing to mitigate the effects of climate change. Additionally, we will generate data that will help us understand what is happening with the populations of species, which can be used to develop an adequate urban planning that allows us to live in harmony with our natural environment.