Representatives from Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina gathered last week at the British Embassy in Lima, Peru, for the Newton Fund LATAM Biodiversity Conference. The event was designed to agree the research parameters and partners for a multilateral Latam research call on Biodiversity with the participant countries and Newton Fund in-country teams led by BEIS and the Newton Fund team in Brazil.
The conference lasted one day enabling the securing of commitment from partners, including match funding for the initiative. It was great to see FAPESP, CONCYTEC, CONICET, CONICYT, CONACYT and COLCIENCIAS exchanging ideas and experiences. The attendance of the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Royal Botanical Gardens - Kew was also key to the success of the meeting.
This is the first Newton Fund multilateral regional research call in Latin America.
Dr. Julia Knights, the UK Government’s Director of the Science & Innovation Network & Newton Fund for the Latam Hub based in Brazil said: “This is a unique opportunity for networks of researchers in the Latam region to join forces with UK researchers to undertake field work in biodiversity in some of Latam’s most precious biomes including the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon rainforest under the Newton Fund”
The UK is a world leader in the application of satellite data to deliver real-world Earth Observation products of value to emergent economies. This brings wider impacts, such as the incorporation of data on vegetation and land use change in to models that help us understand environmental processes and better predict future changes. The sustainable management of biological resources is critical for inclusive and sustainable growth and also for poverty alleviation. The LATAM biodiversity programme will contribute towards economic development, environment sustainability and food security; promoting a knowledge base for the bio-economy.
We’ll be sharing a final document with participants reflecting the discussions at the conference shortly. Our aim is to advance the discussions which were initiated, by pulling together a letter of intent and a work plan expressing our commitment to launching a regional biodiversity research call by the end of 2017.