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FEATURE: Launch of the Project “Amazonia- the Security Agenda” Starts Bilateral Dialogue between Various Actors in Colombia

Also posted in Spanish

The weakness and lack of scientific information at the local level and the gaps there are between the production of this kind of information, decision making, the development of national policies and the local reality of the Colombian Amazon, were the main topics addressed during the launch of the project Amazonia- The Security Agenda (ASA) in the British Ambassador’s Residence in Colombia, last November 14th.

The event was a key setting for starting a process to integrate and provide support to the institutions leading the ASA project and the various national actors that should be involved in the process. Therefore it is hoped that after this meeting bilateral dialogues will be set up between government actors, local organizations and the project’s policy experts supporting the formulation and establishment of cross-sectorial policies for the Colombian Amazon region¸ therefore complying with one of the main objectives of this initiative.

The ASA project aims at determining the multiplier effect that climate change has on already existing risks to food security, water, energy and health in the Colombian, Peruvian, Brazilian, Ecuadorian and Bolivian Amazon regions. And, once these effects are identified, formulate the cross-sectorial policies for regional and local level decision makers that allow for regional dialogue on the security threats that climate change implies to be established.

Furthermore, considering the integration possibilities that the project offer, during the meeting a call was made to incorporate the climate security topic into the national security agenda, and to actively involve the different government actors from the health, energy and defense sectors by asking them to include these issues in their respective agendas. One of the challenges of the ASA project is to incorporate these actors into the dialogue and cross-sectorial policy formulation processes.

It is worth highlighting the fact that the delegates from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS from its initials in Spanish) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR from its initials in Spanish) expressed great interest in joining forces and participating in and cooperating with the development of this project in the Colombian Amazon. Along the same lines, the Indigenous People of the Colombian Amazon Organization invited the project leaders to participate in the Amazon Indigenous people Environmental and Climate Change Round Table (Mesa Indígena Amazónica Ambiental y de Cambio Climático) that will meet in December, generating a great opportunity to initiate and establish links with local actors.

The project Amazonia- The Security Agenda is being run by the International Centre of Tropical Agriculture and the Global Canopy Programme and is funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. The launch was held in the residence of the British Ambassador in Bogota John Dew, and various national actors attended. Representing the public sector were delegates from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and from the Amazon Institute of Scientific Research. Representatives of international cooperation, such as the Delegation from the European Union in Colombia were also present, along with local organizations from the Amazon region such as the Gaia Amazon Foundation and the Indigenous People of the Colombian Amazon Organization.

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