Diploma Socioecological and energy transitions in Latin America and the Caribbean

Face-to-face week

From June 14 to 18, the long-awaited meeting between students and teachers of the diploma course was held, which in its first part was virtual. This intense week of work and fellowship was held in Bogotá and Medellín.

"A united and sustainable Latin America is possible" is the thought with which the more than 30 representatives of 11 countries in the region have imprinted in our memory and, we hope, will be action in the professional and personal decisions that each one takes in their countries to face the difficulties that the environmental crisis poses to us.

We started the trip in Bogotá visiting the Ean University where, in addition to meeting and introducing ourselves in person, we attended a keynote talk on restoration and regeneration as components of socio-ecological transitions, then we toured the Ean Legacy building facilities and the other areas of the Ean University where the sustainability criterion is transversal, both in the curriculum and in the functioning of the campus: For example, we can mention that the Ean Legacy building reused 98% of the materials of the previous building and that it has a system heating system that uses air currents to regulate the internal temperature, etc.

We concluded the day with a group dynamic where the participants presented their ingenious, deep and funny answers to questions such as: How does sustainability sound? What would be the essential principles to promote socio-ecological and energy transitions?

The next day we had an excursion to the EAN Forest (located in the Encenillo Biological Reserve), 1 hour from Bogotá, a humid forest ecosystem where we walked on slopes to observe the conservation and restoration efforts that are being carried out together with the Fundación Natura in what that was previously an area given over to extractive mining. As a form of retribution to nature, we carry out a dynamic planting of native seedlings that we hope in a few years will be trees that assimilate into the forest ecosystem and extend its life.

With that visit we concluded our trip to Bogotá and set our compass on Medellín, the capital of Antioquia, known as one of the cities that has given the most impetus to transition to being a friendly and sustainable city that shines with its own light both for tourism and for its own citizens.

In Medellín we learned about the Ruta N initiative, which through science and technology seeks to put concepts such as the Circular Economy on the agenda so that, from basic criteria as well as from the very conception of the products, it is a strategy that allows us to achieve sustainable development in the broad sense of the word: economic welfare, social justice and environmental protection.

Finally, we attended three talks by specialists and politicians at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, who told us how Medellín and Antioquia are clear about remaining firm in their goal of being an emblematic city and region of sustainability in Colombia, Latin America and the world. through strategies such as the Antioquia 2040 agenda, the strengthening of efficient public transport, the carbon neutrality of its institutions (such as the UPB), among others.

The great experience that we lived in these 5 days, like all good learning, not only gave us answers but, above all, questions that guide us in the search for new and innovative answers to the incessant environmental, social, political and economic changes that we live and will live. . Challenges that, with intelligence, teamwork, optimism, urgency and integration, we can solve.

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Giovanni Burga

Giovanni  Burga

Projektkoordinator +51 1 320 2870