Development of Strategic Activities for the Integration of Sustainable Food Systems in Colombian Environmental Policies

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    CGIAR Initiative on National Policies and Strategies
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Unlocking Colombia’s Potential: Advancing Sustainable Food Systems Integration in Environmental Policies

In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainable development, our recent webinar, titled “Development of Strategic Activities for the Integration of Sustainable Food Systems in Colombian Environmental Policies,” emerges as a pivotal exploration in shaping Colombia’s environmental trajectory. Hosted through a collaboration between WWF and the CGIAR’s Initiative on National Policies and Strategies through the Alliance of Bioversity & CIAT, this virtual gathering brought together a diverse array of stakeholders committed to fostering coherence in the nation’s policies. Against the backdrop of Cali, Colombia being chosen as the venue for COP 16 of the Convention on Biological Diversity and ongoing discussions at COP28 in Dubai, where food systems’ role in global sustainability took center stage, this webinar gains even greater significance.

Structured as an exploration, the webinar traversed through key elements to present findings and actively engage participants in identifying implementation gaps and formulating actionable solutions. This collaborative endeavor signifies a timely stride towards aligning Colombia’s sustainable food systems with international environmental goals, contributing to the ongoing global dialogue on climate challenges and food sustainability.

Normative Coherence: Evaluating Policy Alignment

At the core of the webinar lay a comprehensive analysis of normative coherence across various policies crucial to biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development agendas in Colombia. From the National Development Plan 2022-2026 to the Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-2030 and the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change, among others, policies were scrutinized for their alignment and integration of sustainable food systems.

The analysis unearthed commendable strengths but also notable areas for improvement. While the National Development Plan demonstrated robust alignment with multilateral agreements and national plans, the Biodiversity Action Plan and the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change lacked explicit integration of food systems and nutrition. Moreover, a disconnect with critical levers such as education and finance underscored the need for holistic approaches. Strategic improvements in these areas could significantly bolster Colombia’s pursuit of integrated, resilient, and sustainable environmental policies.

Extending Insights: Toward a Collaborative Vision

Approximately 20 diverse participants converged in a dynamic session aimed at fostering collaborative efforts to integrate sustainable food systems into Colombia’s environmental policies. Through brainstorming and prioritization exercises, participants identified implementation gaps and defined priority actions for transformative change.

Key implementation gaps, such as the absence of a comprehensive approach to food systems and a lack of intersectoral coordination, were identified and prioritized. Participants underscored the importance of defining territorial action plans and systematically integrating sustainable food systems into national policies to ensure the right to food and food sovereignty.

Evaluation of priority actions revealed nuanced insights, highlighting critical areas for focused intervention. While defining action plans for roadmap implementation emerged as pivotal, strengthening decision-makers was deemed most feasible but received a lower importance rating. These insights pave the way for coordinated efforts and strategic planning to realize a sustainable food system in Colombia.

Next Steps: Toward Practical Implementation

As we reflect on the webinar’s findings, the focus shifts to integrating diverse agendas into a cohesive strategy. Expansion to the territorial level, consideration of local dynamics, and practical implementation are imperative. Continued collaboration and engagement will be instrumental in ensuring that conceptualized plans translate into tangible outcomes, advancing sustainable food systems in Colombia and contributing to the global discourse on sustainable development.

You can watch the whole webinar here:


Alexander Buritica Casanova, Postdoctoral fellow , Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT.

Lisset Perez, Senior Research Associate, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT.

Augusto Castro, Senior Scientist, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT.

This work is part of the CGIAR Research Initiative on National Policies and Strategies (NPS). CGIAR launched NPS with national and international partners to build policy coherence, respond to policy demands and crises, and integrate policy tools at national and subnational levels in countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. CGIAR centers participating in NPS are The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (Alliance Bioversity-CIAT), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Potato Center (CIP), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and WorldFish. We would like to thank all funders who supported this research through their contributions to the CGIAR Trust Fund 

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