ASSETS in the journal “Agricultura de las Américas”

In it’s December 2012 edition the journal “Agricultura de las Américas” published an article on the Colombian-British cooperation. “Agricultura las América” was published in Colombia since 1969 and is a well regarded magazine in South America.

The article El Reino Unido y Colombia trabajan por el bienestar socioambiental (pdf, 1.7 mb) provides an insight on ASSETS work in the Amazon region. Furthermore it reflects the engagement and support both of the British Embassy and the Colombian authorities.

A partial translation can be found here:

The United Kingdom and Colombia work for socio-environmental wellbeing

There are very good news for the rural community of the Colombian Amazonas region, for its economic, social, and environmental development as well as for the populations that will see protected their regional food security.

With the purpose of presenting two projects for rescuing the Colombian Amazonas region, aimed at generating policies that regulate a sustainable exploitation of natural resources and seeking for social, agricultural, political, and environmental alternatives to climate change, the British ambassador to Colombia, John Dew, met in Bogotá with representatives from the national government and scientific institutions.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS), the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), the Amazonas Institute for Scientific Research (SINCHI), members of the Gaia Foundation, the Organisation of Indigenous Populations of the Colombian Amazon (OPIC), and international delegates, among others.

The projects were funded by the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation—ESPA—program and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) (…)

Scientific Study (p. 51)

(…)

The other project, called “Managing ecosystem Services to guarantee food security and nutritional health of the rural poor in the agriculture-forest interface”, also takes place in the Amazonian region but is delimited to an specific area in the departments of Caquetá and Putumayo and aims to understand the relationship between forest-native communities-external actors, to find formulas that guarantee food security and health among the population whilst taking advantage, in a sustainable manner, of natural resources.

British Support

John Dew, Great Britain’s ambassador to Colombia, talking to this magazine pointed out that “these days we face the consequences of climate change and the need to adapt and also to mitigate its effects. We are observing ever more food insecurity and malnutrition at the global level. We are witnessing that struggles over access to resources result in conflicts between communities, regions and countries”.

“We are launching two projects that work in the Colombian Amazon. The first one is ASSETS, which consists of achieving sustainable ecosystem services through trade-off scenarios, and the second, Amazonia, addresses the security agenda in response to immediate threats. These projects seek to help us to coexist with and protect our ecosystems whilst improving humanity’s quality of life and food security. For Colombia, these projects in a key zone can help the peace process”, asserted Dew.

“I am proud–he added—of telling you that the UK funds these important initiatives and that the British see Colombia as a progressive country and an important companion in this struggle”.

According to the Great Britain’s ambassador, ASSETS’s, from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA), main objective is to quantify the linkages between the ecosystem services that affect and affected by the rural poor’s food security and nutritional health in the agriculture-forest interface. It operates in Colombia and Malawi.

(p. 52)

“It elaborates policies that will make a difference in the lives of the 2 million people who live in the regions where the case-studies are located and, potentially, of up to 550 million people that live in similar environments in the whole world”, said the British ambassador.

The initiative belongs to an international group of experts and researchers: University of Southampton, Conservation International (USA), the Basque Centre for Climate Change, Chancellor College (Malawi), LEAD Africa and the International Centre of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).

It is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (…)

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