The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Research on Biological Resources, one of five government research institutes in Colombia, is in charge of biodiversity assessment at the national level. The new agreement, which covers an initial term of three years, creates a framework for collaboration on research, training and support for environmental policy management.
SEI has a growing presence in Latin America, in multiple realms, including water resources management and climate change adaptation. Marisa Escobar, a senior scientist in SEI’s U.S. Centre and a native of Colombia, has examined how the water-energy-land use “nexus” approach can be used to understand socio-ecological transformations in the Orinoco River basin in Colombia, and she is also leading a project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to build adaptation capacity among regional water resources management boards.
Through this new collaboration with the Humboldt Institute, SEI will contribute to the design of programmes and projects related to environmental management systems, analysis of development patterns, climate change adaptation and transformation of governance and institutions.
Both institutions will explore opportunities to finance long-term research to develop the Orinoco River basin. They will draft joint proposals, exchange knowledge and organize conferences and workshops.
In the first step in the partnership, Escobar visited the Humboldt Institute with David R. Purkey, director of the SEI-US Water Resources Group, and Jack Sieber, developer of SEI’s Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) system, for a workshop on 18 July. The focus was on development and implementation of a WEAP tool to model hydrology and climate change in the Orinoco region in Colombia.
“The Humboldt Institute has been promoting research in the Colombian Orinoco, and this partnership will allow us to explore opportunities to provide support and collaborate with scientific information about the current pressure for resource exploitation in the region,” says Escobar.
“We will also make connections to other SEI research in Colombia and other regions in Latin America and the Caribbean, in an effort to build institutional capacity to support decision-making around adaptation and development,” she adds.
Learn more about the Humboldt Institute (external link)