In the ColombiaCONNECT 1 project , seven institutions have joined forces to develop best-practice projects for the conservation of biodiversity in Colombia. In addition to bioeconomy and sustainable agriculture, research on biodiversity and climate impacts as well as peace and conflict research are to be integrated. A sub-project is the startup BIOMMA , which mainly acquires young, sustainably oriented companies for a reforestation project. They benefit from the know-how of the BIOMMA actors*, how reforestation can be real and sustainable – something that Krombacher first had to learn. With an app, the companies involved and their customers can track the afforested areas and the progress of reforestation. The growing popularity of BIOMMA meanwhile makes it necessary to acquire further suitable areas.
As a scientific network project, ColombiaConnect works in three fields of action: conduct studies (in which detailed knowledge is gained), offer advice (in which this knowledge is used), and initiate impulse projects (in which the advice knowledge has to prove itself in practice). Applied to everyday networking, this translates to “research, share & connect” (AM Aguierre Callas). Above all, working on site in Colombia means dealing with the complexity and ambiguity of the claim to sustainability, for example conflicting goals of the peace process with goals of sustainable business, the tension between “human rights” and “ rights of nature“ or questions of economic and cultural self-determination of indigenous groups. In order to develop programs of action here, it is therefore above all necessary to address values and create a common conceptual framework that enables understanding, as is also the case in the project. According to MA Aguierre Callas, a cosmopolitan open-mindedness is essential for this, the core task of which she describes as “seeing possibilities” where they are not initially visible.
At October, 19 our lecture series started: Research Meets Practice. Scientific and Civil Society Approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals in Two World Regions – a Colombian-German Dialogue .