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Strengthening Co-operation between EU and CELAC Regions on Urban Nature-based Solutions

Strengthening Co-operation between EU and CELAC Regions on Urban Nature-based Solutions

Exchange visit at Alexander von Humboldt Institute in Bogota (Colombia)
31 July 2019

Nature-based solutions are an attractive proposition to address urban challenges in Europe and Latin America. While some of the environmental and socio-environmental challenges are specific to each region or even individual cities, there are many shared challenges such as impacts of climate change, air pollution or social cohesion. Research institutes and local governments in both regions can benefit from the exchange of experiences, knowledge, solutions, and techniques for addressing those challenges.

To foster such an exchange Sandra Naumann, McKenna Davis and Ewa Iwaszuk from Ecologic Institute visited the Alexander von Humboldt Institute in Bogota (IAVH), a renowned Colombian research centre for the study of biodiversity. The visit was part of a broader set of activities aimed at establishing long-term cooperation between the Ecologic Institute and the Humboldt Institute working together on urban ecosystem restoration through nature-based solutions. A dedicated exchange and work on Ecologic Institute’s and IAVH’s planned joint projects took place, including discussions with potential city partners, such as representatives of the municipality of Envigado in the Aburra Valley of Colombia.

Moreover, the exchange included visits to multiple environmental and citizen initiatives in Bogota, that shed light on both the most pressing challenges specific to the city as well as the innovative initiatives to address them. The visited initiatives included: a citizen science initiative, which maps the biodiversity of Bogota’s central park and works to defend ecologic connectivity between the city’s green areas; a guerrilla gardening and composting group that aims to make neighborhoods in Bogota more secure through common work with the neighbors; urban agriculture and community gardens; and two initiatives aimed at protecting important urban ecosystems from formal and informal development and encroachment.