Towards a regional vision of the Andes


Bogotá, Colombia hosted a week dedicated to mountains. From 10 to 14 July 2017, Mountains’ Week offered a space to discuss the strategic importance of paramos and mountain ecosystems in the Andean region. Within the framework of Mountains’ Week, the International Congress of Paramos and Mountain Ecosystems took place on 12-14 July, to discuss how to position the Andes in the public agendas of the Andean countries. The theme of the Congress was "Towards a Regional Vision of the Andean Mountains".

Representatives of government, academia, civil society and communities from the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Costa Rica gathered together in Bogotá to exchange experiences and visions for the integral management of mountain ecosystems. The goal of the Congress was to collect inputs that could contribute towards the design of public policy instruments for the sustainable management and development of mountains. The Congress furthermore launched a Call for Action for the Andean Region's Paramos and Mountains.

International Congress of Paramos and Mountain EcosystemsBiodiversity and ecosystem services, climate change, communities and livelihoods, and tools, instruments and management alternatives were the four themes around which the Congress focused. The objective was to raise awareness about the priority issues paramo and mountain ecosystems face, in order to build the basis for the formalization of strategic, oriented alliances for the integral management of mountain territories in a context of climate change.

Rosalaura Romeo of the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, who participated in the Congress, said “We are very happy to see the Andean countries coming together to fight climate change. This unity is something we nurtured through the establishment of the Andean Initiative, which is now evolving into a fully-fledged mechanism for transboundary cooperation.”

Among other important activities that took place during Mountains’ Week were the "Meeting of the Andean Initiative of the Mountain Partnership" and the "Meeting of Strategic National Actors".

The International Congress of Paramos and Mountain Ecosystems was jointly organized by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, the Consortium for the Sustainable Development of the Andean Ecoregion (CONDESAN), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UNEP, the National Federation of Departments, the Governing Authority of Cundinamarca, the Regional Administration and Special Planning of Colombia and the Autonomous Regional Corporation of Cundinamarca, within the framework of the Mountain Partnership.

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Photo: The Mountain Institute/Carlos Palacios Núnez

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