July 25th-27, 2016 at the SDSN-Andes headquarters, Yachay Tech, Urcuquí – Ecuador

“Around the world, leaders are increasingly recognizing ecosystems as natural capital assets that supply life-support services of tremendous value. The challenge is to turn this recognition into incentives and institutions that will guide wise investments in natural capital, on a large scale”1. SDG 15 seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss. To meet this goal and other SDGs, the Andean Network is working to mobilize incentives and align institutions that safeguard natural resources and sustainably manage ecosystem services.

The Mira watershed is part of the Chocó region, a biodiversity “hotspot” and therefore a global conservation priority2. The Mira encompasses unique environments sustaining valuable ecosystems services for both, Colombia and Ecuador.


Responding to its mandate to work for the sustainable development of the Andean region and the operationalization of the SDGs, the Andean Network of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) held its first workshop gathering specialists from government research institutes, NGOs, and academics from Colombia and Ecuador, to discuss conservation strategies for the Mira river basin.

This meeting, held at Yachay Tech, is part of a series of workshops seeking to establish a multi-sectoral and binational initiative. This initiative falls within the framework of cooperation acknowledged in the declaration signed by the presidents Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia) and Rafael Correa (Ecuador) at the IV Binational Cabinet, in December 2015.

The efforts mobilized by this group will be led by a coalition of organizations involving academia, public institutes, and NGOs, which working closely with local communities, governments, and other stakeholders in the area, will develop a strategy for the adaptive management of ecosystem services at the Mira watershed, based on solid ecological, socioeconomic and cultural considerations. The next workshop will take place in August 25th in Pasto, Colombia.

For more information visit http://www.unsdsn-andes.org/

andes workshop 2

List of participants:

  • Dra. Olga Lucía Caro, Projects Deputy Director, Alexander von Humboldt Institute, Colombia
  • Dra. Susan Poats, President, C.G. Randi Randi, Ecuador
  • Dra. Luz Estela Lagos, Biology Department Director, Nariño University, Colombia
  • Dra. Aida Baca, Herbarium Director, Nariño University, Colombia
  • Dr. Germán Narváez, Geography specialists, Nariño University, Colombia
  • Dr. Diego Inclán, Director, National Institute of Biodiversity, Ecuador
  • Dr. Mario Yánez, Director of the Natural Sciences Museum, National Institute of Biodiversity, Ecuador
  • Dr. Markus Tellkamp, Ornithology specialists, Yachay Tech, Ecuador
  • Dr. Hugo Romero, Tropical biology specialists, Yachay Tech, Ecuador
  • Dr. Paul Arellano, Remote sensing specialists, Yachay Tech, Ecuador
  • Dr. Jorge Gómez, Director, SDSN-Andes
  • Special guest: Dr. Xavier Zapata, Hydrology specialist


1 Daily, G. C., & Matson, P. A. (2008). Ecosystem services: From theory to implementation. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences, 105(28), 9455-9456.

2 Myers, N., Mittermeier, R. A., Mittermeier, C. G., Da Fonseca, G. A., & Kent, J. (2000). Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature, 403(6772), 853-858.