The Andean region is comprised of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina, countries with vastly diverse geography, from snow-capped mountains to tropical forests. The region faces a growing number of sustainable development challenges including biodiversity loss, climate change adaptation, food and water security, and rural poverty. The Andean SDSN will be the first regional effort aimed at building a strong regional network of universities, research centers, governments, businesses, and civil society to implement solutions initiatives for sustainable development in the Andean Region.
Ecuador will be the headquarters of efforts among the Andean countries. The University of Investigación de Tecnología Experimental (Yachay Tech) will host the Andean Network, acting as a regional coordinating hub for activities of a network. Yachay Tech—a flagship university located at the heart of Yachay City of Knowledge—is the first university in Latin America that combines basic and applied sciences in all its schools. It aims at becoming a “Living Lab,” suitable for providing the right environment for research and innovation in areas related to applied sciences.
The objectives of the Andean SDSN will be to mobilize universities and research centers, and to strengthen cooperation to:
- Contribute to the understanding of sustainable development in the region, and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda;
- Promote “Solutions Initiatives” that address key sustainable development challenges in the Andean Region among local, regional, and national governments and taking into account the different economic, political, social and environmental realities of the region;
- Promote an open dialogue about addressing major sustainable development challenges; and
- Promote sustainable development in academic programs of higher education to enable the future leaders of the region.