The Stockholm Resilience Centre has over the last five years been deeply involved in developing new strategies for the governance of ecosystems and biodiversity in Colombia. Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

Colombian environmental policy

Improving governance of ecosystems and biodiversity in Colombia

Centre research on environmental governance has had a distinct impact on Colombian policy

The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) has contributed to two distinct impacts in Colombian environmental policy. First, Colombian NGO Fundación Humedales de Colombia applied centre research to guide their work in bridging the gap between knowledge on ecosystem dynamics and the institutions set to govern them. Second, centre research inspired a re-framing of Colombian biodiversity policy to focus on social-ecological systems and the need to address multilevel interactions in environmental governance.

Centre research on 'institutional misfit', the limited capacity of institutions to deal with environmental change, contributed directly to the Fundación Humedales de Colombia's work in bridging the gap between ecosystem dynamics and governance of the Fúgene wetland complex in Colombian Andes. The Colombian NGO developed programmes to build capacity among local stakeholders in order to enhance their ability to monitor change and manage the lake system.

In 2009, centre researcher Victor Galaz taught a course on complexity and social sciences. The lecture caught the interest of, the then student, Brigitte Baptiste, who later went on to become the director of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute in Colombia. The institute advises the Colombian government on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

In 2010, coinciding with the International Year of Biodiversity, Colombia revisited its biodiversity strategies. The SRC was contacted and invited to provide input on governance for a new biodiversity plan prepared by the Colombian Minister of Environment. The Humboldt Institute also asked for input on science-policy engagement strategies and research methods that could support their new biodiversity strategy.

The outcome was a re-framing of Colombian biodiversity policy towards an increased emphasis on social-ecological systems and how multiple actors interact in governance.

In 2012, the Colombian Embassy in Stockholm and the Minister of the Environment invited the centre to discuss future collaborations, particularly how the centre can provide further scientific support to the country's work on the Sustainable Development Goals.


For more information, please contact Maria Schultz, director of SwedBio.


Stockholm Resilience Centre is a collaboration between Stockholm University and the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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