A partnership to build long-lasting research collaborations between the UK and Colombian Institutions
Biodiversity is essential for maintaining people’s cultural and natural heritage, and the preservation of unique ecosystems. It is also central to the improvement of human welfare, social equality and economic development.
Understanding biodiversity is essential to end hunger and malnutrition, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. With the loss of biodiversity, humankind loses the potential to adapt to to future and present challenges, such as population growth and climate change.
Biodiversity, Responsibility, Innovation, Development, Growth and Education
BRIDGE Colombia is a multidisciplinary network of researchers and organisations, mainly from Colombia and the UK, working to understand, promote, and preserve Colombia’s biodiversity with the ultimate goal of stimulating the economic and social growth in the country and region.
BRIDGE partners are working to build research capacity and human capital development in Colombia, stimulate partnerships between organisations in Colombia and with international partners, and promote exchange of knowledge with the goal of stimulating economic growth in Colombia.
As well as being a source of wonder, the abundance of life in Colombia is essential to strengthen Colombian Institutions and to achieve economic growth and peace.Professor Federica Di Palma
Every year partners come together to facilitate research projects on a different theme.
Objectives of BRIDGE Colombia
The development of countries and communities needs to be sustainable, without compromising natural capital, while reversing land and forest degradation. Sustainable development relies heavily on implementing sustainable production systems and resilient practices.
Threats to biodiversity lead to social inequality, habitat degradation, changes in land use, increased presence of invasive species, climate change, over consumption of ecological services and general pollution dynamics. Threats to Colombia’s biodiversity, and the challenges faced by those working to preserve it, are similar to those faced by other countries in the region, so successful experiences are transferable.
From the high mountains of the Andes descending deep into Amazonian rainforest, to expanses of grassland such as the llanos and páramos, as well as islands in both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Colombia is a treasure trove of life thriving in diverse habitats.
Colombia is one of the 17 countries considered as “megadiverse” by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). More than half of continental Colombia is covered by natural forest, and the national catalog of biodiversity includes up to 55 thousand species, 3652 endemic ones, approximately 10 % of the known species.
This is a very important time in history following the peace agreement between the Colombian Government and the guerrillas; Colombia, though having signed a ceasefire and later a peace agreement in late 2016, saw internal warfare in the country lasting over five decades. The guerillas kept control of many of the most remote, but also the most biodiverse, areas of Colombia. This has limited development and opportunities, with evident negative socioeconomic impact.
At this post-conflict period, more than ever is fundamental promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for a sustainable development, providing access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
BRIDGE Colombia is managed by Earlham Institute.
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