Investigadores Icesi: María Francisca Villegas (CoI)

Colaboradores: University of East Anglia, Universidad de los Andes, Instituto Humboldt

Colombia is one of the 17 "megadiverse" countries in the world. Developing a sustainable bioeconomy based on the responsible use of its biodiversity is a priceless opportunity for the equitable, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic growth of the country. Colombia is just starting to develop and implement bioeconomic strategies and policies, as well as the related systematic assessment of the environmental and social impacts brought by such economic changes. Our cluster will bring together academic researchers, key industry, and government and policy advisors from Colombia and the UK to contribute establishing sustainable bioeconomic strategies (Phase 1) and pilot initiatives (Phase 2) in the agrifood and scientific ecotourism sectors in four targeted regions of Colombia. These strategic sectors and regions have been identified in previous activities.

The cluster builds on three UKRI GCRF projects (>£10M investment) in Latin America, mainly Colombia, with strong complementary capacity building programs ("GROW Colombia", "CABANA" and "UKRI GCRF Trade, Development and the Environment Hub"), two Newton-Fund projects in Colombia (BRIDGE and C3biodiversidad), and the policy work by the PIs in the UK and Colombia, who participated as experts in the Colombian President's mission to develop Colombia's Science, technology and innovation (STI) agenda. Colombian partners include business associations and the Chamber of Commerce of the targeted regions, exemplary bioeconomic business, non-profit organizations implementing ecotourism pilot projects and key Universities and Research Institutes working in these four regions from our previous activities.

The cluster in this first phase (12 months) will facilitate three regional workshops to foster multisectoral partnerships in the agri-food and ecotourism sector in four regions. It will also conduct technical assessments of the existing and required capacity as well as market opportunities and challenges in each region, and eventually propose pilot strategies to transform the value chains while conserving the natural resources and yielding transparent environmental, social and economic benefits, that could be elaborated in a second phase. Our cluster is built on a shared vision of ensuring environmental sustainability in Colombia. Our work can be extended to other developing LATAM countries with similar needs and opportunities where our activities are already happening (Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc.). The cluster also responds to and interconnects various sustainable development goals (SDGs), and provides capacities to a generation of scientists, managers and industry actors crossing disciplines for the local action of such SDGs.

Financiador: GCRF Challenge Clusters

Fechas: enero 2021 - julio 2021


Maria Francisca Villegas

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