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Tropentag, September 20 - 22, 2023, Berlin

"Competing pathways for equitable food systems transformation:
trade-offs and synergies"

Multicriteria analysis to operationalize agri-food systems sustainability transitions in the water-energy-food-biodiversity nexus

Jeimy Andrea García García1, Leidy Tatiana Silva Ruíz1, Diana Cristina Moreno Vargas2

1Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, Colombia, Nature-Based solutions thinking center, Colombia
2National University of Colombia, Humboldt Research Institute: Trajects, Colombia


Agroecological efficiency in natural resources use and access equally conservation and enhancement of supporting, regulating, and cultural ecosystem services have been identified as central challenges for agri-food systems. Multicriteria spatial analysis and land use zoning processes are valuable tools to address these challenges. This study aims to prioritise crucial areas in agricultural use at the Chingaza paramo complex in Colombia with opportunities for sustainability transitions. Three methodological phases were developed through a multicriteria spatial analysis using the ArcGIS Pro software and Corine Land Cover methodology in 2022 based on available cartographic information in Colombia: (i) Landscapes prioritisation based on criteria identification (n=11), (ii) Development of a baseline concerning multifunctionality categories in the prioritised landscapes (n=5), (iii) Selection and valuation of areas in agri-food systems sustainability transitions expressed in land cover at a scale of 1:25,000, applying exclusion (n=4), and valuation areas criteria (n=6). Our research situates the Siecha River micro-basin area (2068.16 ha) with Orobioma andino and Paramo Altoandino eastern mountain range ecosystem units and highlights an intermediate human footprint index, the areas associated with potential agricultural activities (1.31%), heterogeneous agricultural uses (11%), and small-scale agriculture (10%) with moderate (7.81%) and severe (3.33%) land overuse. Medium (18.17%), low (17.07%), and very low (16.5%) sustainability categories stand out in the areas related to the provision of agri-food products. Our results suggest that lower-value areas present opportunities for sustainable transitions through nature-based solutions that promote recovered productive capacity and improve fertility and soil stability, and water regulation. Areas with higher valuations also present a great potential to make visible and replicate processes and practices that offer better opportunities for landscape sustainability. Besides, it is necessary to understand crucial variables for sustainable transitions, nexus, and exchanges within the areas highly associated with biodiversity management, protection, and conservation. Strengthening different nexus knowledge of uses in areas with similar conditions would contribute to public policy generation in scenarios of sustainability transitions in agri-food systems. This framework could promote specific metrics for spatial hierarchy in agri-food systems sustainability transitions in the Water Energy-Food-Biodiversity nexus.

Credits: PAFD program (ZEF- IDEA agreement of the National University of Colombia) and to the funders (DAAD and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development). (DAAD and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).

Keywords: Biodiversity conservation, multicriteria analysis, sustainability transitions, water-energy-food nexus

Contact Address: Jeimy Andrea García García, Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, Colombia, Nature-Based solutions thinking center, Circunvalar avenue N 16 - 20, 110321 Bogotá d.c., Colombia, e-mail: andreag321@gmail.com

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