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Climate crisis, the pandemic of COVID-19, the loss of biodiversity, the structural inequality and the transition of the food system represent complex and interconnected challenges that require a consensual science agenda for co-innovation. The Andean Initiative is a regional innovation platform that addresses these challenges through an integrated agenda on agrobiodiversity, climate action, and healthy diets based on gender, youth, big data and digital solutions. The Andes are megadiverse and a hotspot that provides solutions based in nature, including ecosystem services that will benefit populations throughout Western South America.

Starting in July 2019 we began a process of consultation and deep situational analysis with partners and different actors of the region, in order to identify topics and emerging demands for sustainable development in areas of the High Andes during the next decade. Based on this, we developed a strategy that introduces new themes and represents a road map to achieve substantial changes in the Andean region. We invite everyone to be part of this change!


July 22, 2020
09:00 am (Peru)


Viviana Infantas
Institutional Relations Specialist, CIP


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  • Publicly launch the Andean Initiative and present the 2020-2030 strategy of the new innovation regional platform
  • Invite everyone to participate in the launching campaign of the Andean Initiative starting on July 22 through September 18, 2020
  • Officially launch the logo of the Andean Initiative and recognize the winner of the logo design contest

Barbara Wells. Director General, International Potato Center (CIP).
Welcome. CIP: 50 years of experience in the Andean region.

Ginya Truitt Nakata. Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, CIP-LAC.
The importance of the Andes for the planet.

Stef de Haan. Andean Initiative Coordinator, International Potato Center, CIP-LAC.
The Andean Initiative Strategy 2020 – 2030.

Partners: Views and feedbacks

  • Santiago Vélez León. Representative in Bolivia, Inter-America Institute for Cooperation             on Agriculture (IICA), La Paz, Bolivia;
  • Silvia Sarapura. Assistant Professor at School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Canada;
  • Juan Miguel Pérez Vásquez. Executive Secretary, Asociación Pataz, Trujillo, Peru;
  • Jorge Gómez Paredes. Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN Andes) Quito, Ecuador.

Official Launch of the Andean Initiative logo. Words from Ricardo Morales from Ecuador, winner of the first place on the logo contest.

Closing remarks.


Horacio brings stakeholders together to foster innovation within the Andean Initiative. He has more than 10 years of experience leading innovation platforms and knowledge-sharing initiatives across Latin America.

He joined CIP in 2019 as Senior Manager of Operations and Impact at Scale, after working at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as Climate and Food Security Coordinator for Latin America. Previously, Horacio served as Agricultural Extension Coordinator for Latin America at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), and as Family Farming Specialist for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Before that, he worked as Agricultural Specialist at the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Horacio has also worked as international consultant on sustainable development at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV), and the Iberic-American Union of Municipal Governments (UIM). He is adviser to the World Rural Forum (WRF), as well as member of the Mexican Network of Family Farming, and the Mexican Network of International Cooperation for Development.

Horacio holds a master’s in systems Transformation (Stanford University), a master’s in international Cooperation for Development (Instituto Mora) and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering (Tec de Monterrey). He was recognized as Mexico’s Best National Agricultural Engineering Graduate in 2005 by the National Association of Engineering Schools and Faculties (ANFEI).

Senior Manager Operations and Impact at Scale, CIP-LAC


Claudio Velasco is an agriculture and social scientist working with the International Potato Center (CIP). His work experience has focused on managing innovation projects in agriculture and on the development and use of participatory approaches and tools to foster, collective action and knowledge management and learning. In his current position as research coordinator, Claudio serves as the principal investigator of several CIP research and development projects in the Andean region on food security and value chain development in resilient potato-based agri-food systems. His ambition is to conduct action-research on different approaches for capacity building and institutional innovation to reach impact at scale of research results. Claudio holds a PhD in Development, Policy and Practice from The Open University, UK.

Research Coordinator


Dr. Wells is a seasoned senior executive with extensive domestic and international leadership and management expertise. She has over 30 years of experience in developing commercial, technical and regulatory strategies for the launch of conventional seed and seedling products and products of renewable energy, crop protection and plant technology in agricultural and forestry markets throughout the world. She has a Ph.D., Agronomy/Weed Science, Oregon State University, MS, Plant Pathology/Nematology, and BS with Honors, Horticulture, University of Arizona.

Her previous post was Vice President Global Strategy, Agrivida, Inc., a firm that develops feed-stocks for the production of biofuels and bio-products from non-food agricultural residues and dedicated biomass crops. This was preceded as President of BHW Enterprises, a company specialized in providing consulting services in agriculture and renewable energy. From 2002 to 2012 she was President and Chief Executive Officer of ArborGen, Inc., a global forestry tree seedling, and tree breeding business. She led the transformation of the organization from a tissue culture start-up company to a fully operational business with over $30 million in revenues, and commercial sales of over 250 million tree seedlings. Prior to joining ArborGen, Dr. Wells was Vice President responsible for growth initiatives and investments in Latin America for Emergent Genetics, an agricultural investment firm.

In her early career, she worked in field product development with Monsanto where she moved from a scientific representative role to the leader of the development team across the world for many crops: tree crops, fruits and nuts, cotton, and others. Throughout her career, Dr. Wells and has worked with farmers and applied her science to improve the productivity of the farmer, framing science for applied solutions at the farmer level.

Dr. Wells has spent a large part of her life outside of the USA. She grew up in Peru and Bolivia, was based in Brazil for several years and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. Her move to CIP corresponds with her ambition to improve the livelihoods of the world’s poor farmers, and to drive forwards the mission of CIP in rural development.

Director General


Ginya A Truitt Nakata is the Director of Latin America and the Caribbean where she provides programmatic oversight, leadership and strategic direction for International Potato Center’s (CIP’s) research-for-development portfolio in the region and represents the center at a range of fora.

Truitt Nakata has more than 25 years of international development experience in agriculture and food security with organizations across the development spectrum, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Agricultural Cooperative Development International.

At TNC, Ginya was the Latin America Director of Lands where she led the development and implementation of strategies that address systemic barriers to sustainable agricultural production and their impact on habitats critical to long-term growth and the planet’s health.

With IDB she spear-headed development of a comprehensive policy paper on the potential of Latin America’s agriculture sector in addressing the global food security challenge—harnessing expertise from a wide range of fields and interests. That process catalyzed the publication of the 2014 report The Next Global Breadbasket: How Latin America Can Feed the World and the establishment of AgroLAC 2025—a multi-donor funding platform to identify and support sustainable agricultural practices and market systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ginya holds a MA in International Development from the American University’s School of International Service and a BA in International Management/Spanish from Gustavus Adolphus College.  In 2016 she was named a New Vision for Agriculture Ambassador with the World Economic Forum, an honor extended to 20 senior representatives from around the world.

Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, CIP-LAC


Has 20 years of experience in agricultural R&D with emphasis on community-level mapping of climate change impacts, agrobiodiversity, land use, food systems and human nutrition in mountain regions and vulnerable communities. Works for the International Potato Center (CIP), coordinating the Andean Initiative. Has published more than 60 publications between science articles and books, many related to the Andes.

Coordinates CIP’s new Andean Initiative with emphasis on climate action, food systems, agrobiodiversity and inclusive value chains. Stef’s current areas of research include seed systems, farmer agrobiodiversity use, food and nutrition security, food system transitions. He previously worked with the Dutch development cooperation (1998-2002) in the Andean region, International Potato Center (2002-2015) in Peru, and International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Vietnam (2015-2019).

Holds a PhD in Biosystematics and MSc. in Agroecology from Wageningen University, as well as a BSc. in Agronomy. Stef is a Dutch national and is currently based in Peru.

Andean Initiative Coordinator


Ecuadorian, PhD in Strategic Planning, Master in Agribusiness Management, Agricultural Engineer.

With more than 20 years of international experience in policy management, programs and projects for the agricultural and rural public, private and academic sectors. Currently, Mr. Vélez is the Country Representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Bolivia.

Representative in Bolivia, Inter-America Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
La Paz, Bolivia


Silvia has more than fifteen years of proven experience in the fields of rural planning for development, gender transformative change and agricultural R4D.  As a result of her extensive research engagement in Africa, Asia, South East Asia, and Latin America, Silvia built a strong and innovative track record in international rural and agricultural research for development.

Until July 2019, Silvia was a Senior Researcher with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Netherlands. She worked with regional multi-stakeholders platforms for the improvement of agricultural universities in Mozambique; in applied agricultural research with Bioversity International, ICARDA, ILRI, CIAT, CYMMIT and AWARD; with African public and regional organizations on the Integrated Seed Sector Development (ISSD) Platform- Africa; in climate-smart agriculture and gender planning with Dutch and international organizations.

As a Post-Doctoral Fellow with WorldFish, CGIAR, Silvia was part of the Global Scientific Team on Aquatic Agricultural Systems. She designed, planned and implemented the Research in Development Approach with international, national and local partners in five countries of Asia, Oceania and Africa. She also led the Gender Capacity Development and Organizational Culture Change Initiative in nine WorldFish countries. She also worked with the International Potato Center, CGIAR in food security, local development of agricultural systems and gender action research.

Silvia concluded her MSc. and Ph.D. studies at the University of Guelph within SEDRD. Silvia’s excellent research skills, as well as planning and communication skills are documented in book chapters, synthesis reports, articles, and theses. Silvia is Peruvian-Canadian and proficient in English and Spanish. She also has intermediate knowledge of French and Portuguese.

Assistant Professor at School of Environmental Design and Rural Development
University of Guelph, Canada


Industrial Engineer, graduated at the National University of San Marcos, member of the College of Engineers of Peru, with a post-graduate degree in Research and Agricultural Technology Transfer Programming from the National Research Institute and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. Mr. Perez also holds a degree in Agricultural Management from the Peruvian Institute for Business Management and a master’s degree in Program Management and Social Projects from the Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University.

From 1978 to 1982, Mr. Perez worked as Production Engineer at the chemical section of the Berckemeyer S.A. group. From 1983 to 1989 he worked at the Methodology and Training area of the National Institute of Statistics and TICs. From 1990 to 1994 Mr. Perez worked at the General Inspectorate and the Technical Cooperation Office of the National Institute for Agricultural Research. From 1995 to 2001 he was the National Coordinator of the alpaca and cotton fiber commercialization program at the Ministry of Agriculture´s Special Projects Unit. In 2002 Mr. Perez was the facilitator of the development planning established by the municipalities of Ancash for PRONAA. From 2003 to 2006 he was the Manager of the Community Relations Department of the Mining Company Poderosa S.A. and from August up until today, Mr. Perez is the Executive Secretary of Pataz Association, a nonprofit organization of Poderosa that promotes the development of rural communities in the mountains of La Libertad region.

Mr. Perez participated at the international seminar about mining environmental liabilities, management and remediation, organized by CEPAL in Santiago de Chile. He also participated at the Expo Pollutec 2010 about environment, held in Lyon France, in 2017. Likewise, he was part of a technical mission on innovation that visited Medellin, Colombia and in 2019 Mr. Perez visited Nepal to share his technical expertise on potato crop.

Executive Secretary, Asociación Pataz
Trujillo, Peru


Dr. Gomez is the Managing Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the Andean Region (SDSN Andes), an Initiative for the United Nations which includes Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela and promotes integrated approaches to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Gomez is an Environmental Engineer with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees on Energy Science from the department of Socio-Environmental Sciences of Kyoto University, Japan. He also holds a post-graduate diploma in Project Management from the Universitat de Valencia, Spain.

Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Earth and Ocean Science Division of the Nicholas School of the Environment, of Duke University, USA, and Lecturer at the Earth, Energy and Environment School of Sciences of the Yachay Tech University in Ecuador.

Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the Andean Region (SDSN Andes)


Ricardo Morales is 30 years old, with 6 years of experience in graphic design, and lives in Quito, Ecuador. Ricardo has always been interested in visual techniques and decided to focus his studies on graphic design. He works for private and public organizations, as well as small design studios, develops creative content in his Instagram account @ricardoom90 and collaborates with important brands and companies in social media. Ricardo is currently opening a graphic design studio in Quito.

Winner of the first place on the logo contest