Andes: climbing towards sustainability.

In the framework of International Mountain Day, the virtual event Bridge in the Andes: moving towards sustainability was held,

a meeting organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Condesan and the Humboldt Institute, with the support of the European Union through the EUROCLIMA+ Programme, IKI and COSUDE. 

UNEP accompanies the Andean Mountain Initiative (AMI), a platform that brings together the seven Andean countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. The objective of this initiative is to strengthen political dialogue to promote regional cooperation on adaptation and to support fundraising to implement actions that help build resilience in the Andean region. 

"Bridge in the Andes" responds to the need to strengthen links between the countries crossed by the Andes Mountains. This mountain range, unique in the world, is home to some 82 million people living in the Andean forests, paramos, punas and other areas. Today, both the Andean ecosystems and their communities are affected by the climate crisis. 

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During the three-day event, high-level international and local speakers spoke about the socio-economic and environmental reality facing the region in the face of climate change. In addition, scientists, organisations, local populations and project implementers shared the results obtained and lessons learned from cases of management and sustainable development in the Andes.

The opening keynote address was given by Doreen Robinson, UNEP's Chief of Biodiversity and Land, who emphasised the importance of working to reconcile the interaction between humans and wildlife in the tropical Andes. Robinson pointed out that, by the end of this century, the coldest years in the mountains of the Tropical Andes will be the hottest historically. A 2.0 version of the Vanishing Treasures Initiative, which promotes the protection of endangered species in mountain areas, is therefore being prepared. This proposal - still under development - seeks to add the spectacled bear and the jaguar as representatives of the tropical Andes. 

Two thematic meetings, organised by the regional Adaptation team of UNEP's climate change unit, also stood out.

"International Meeting of Mountain Platforms", which reviewed the ways in which different mountain platforms around the world - including the Andes, the Carpathians, the Alps and the Caucasus - engage actors from civil society and academia to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration. Bram Leo Willems, Executive President of the Peruvian National Institute for Research on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM), participated on behalf of the IAM. Willems shared about INAIGEM's work in forming community science committees that seek to shift towards an approach where communities move from being objects of study to empowered subjects that use and generate their own knowledge, ensuring sustainable local development. 

"Microfinance for Adaptation: Experiences in the Andes", emphasised the potential of microfinance to foster the implementation of Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) that reduce vulnerability, secure the livelihoods of Andean populations and help recover ecosystem services. During the conversation, Jacinto Buenfil, former coordinator of UNEP's "Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (MEbA)" project and current FAO Programme Officer, highlighted the experience of UNEP's MEbA project where 13 financial institutions in the region channelled more than USD 30 million for the deployment of NbS on the lands of smallholder farmers.

Regional Dialogues on Integrated High Mountain Management

WhatsApp Image 2022 01 11 at 8.45.04 AMOn the other hand, thanks to the support of the EUROCLIMA+ programme, IKI and COSUDE, a series of monthly dialogues were also held in the framework of the previous event "Bridge in the Andes". These dialogues took place on the third Thursday of September, October and November 2021, and served to exchange knowledge and experiences on the sustainable management of high mountain ecosystems in the Andes and other regions of the world, with the participation of political decision-makers, academia and civil society. 


Regional Dialogue on Knowledge Management (September 2021):

Regional Dialogue on Governance and Participation (October 2021):

Regional Dialogue on Management, Conservation and Restoration (November 2021):

source of the images: bridges in the Andes


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union and co-financed by the German federal government through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as by the governments of France and Spain through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

The Programme's mission is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in 18 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, promoting mitigation, adaptation, resilience and climate investment. It is implemented according to the "Spirit of Team Europe" under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-America Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH, and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

EUROCLIMA letra blanca peqEUROCLIMA+ is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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