About Us.

What is this cluster about?

Conéctate A+ is a network of researchers and institutions interested in deepening the interdisciplinary, rigorous, and comparative analysis of top-priority problems linked to ecosystems, climate change, health, and sustainable development in the Tropical Andes – Central America region (Andes+). By critically thinking through the potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) global agenda to help shape more sustainable and equitable futures, this network seeks to make these problems visible in the developing, implementing, and monitoring processes of global, national, and sub-national policies that are relevant for this region.


Conéctate A+ aims to strengthen the capacities to achieve the SDG in the Andes+ region by providing an adequate platform to promote knowledge generation, information exchange and academic collaboration opportunities between Swiss universities and other key actors that are playing an active role in discussing, formulating, and implementing the most innovative sustainable development strategies and policies in the Andes+ region.


This CLOC will:

  • Propose a new form of South-South and North-South inter-disciplinary academic collaboration between research institutions in Switzerland and the Andes+ region.
  • Articulate the most relevant findings and current debates in sustainable development and environmental governance in academic research in the Andes+ region.
  • Produce reliable knowledge on sustainable development and environmental governance in the Andes+ region, which will emphasize bridging knowledge and action in key decision making and policy cycles. 
  • Contribute to the formulation and implementation of new sustainable development strategies and projects.

Conéctate A +

Cluster of Cooperation in the Tropical Andes and Central America region (Andes+)

The past few years have seen the emergence of an image of the Tropical Andean and Central American regions characterized by an emphasis on the complexity of the social formations and ecological diversity of these two regions.

This new picture, it is important to note, is being shaped in a theoretical context that favors the synergistic interaction between cognate fields in the social and natural sciences. However, achieving sustainable development in Latin America, and specifically in the Tropical Andes and Central America region (Andes+), continues to be a major challenge. Although some progress has been made towards an adequate understanding of the barriers that impede progress towards this goal, the advances have been more thematically driven than with an integrated approach; with collaborative efforts of existing networks, particularly from research and practice in mountains, focused on socio-ecological variables of sustainable development.

Overall, this context reveals the necessity of opportunities to promote collaborative arrangements, dynamize theoretical discussions, and articulate the accumulated experience of these communities of practice, to consolidate the ongoing efforts in the Andes+ region for overcoming the barriers that impede the successful implementation of sustainable development policies.

Key activities


Virtual and non-virtual meetings between Andes+ and Swiss partner institutions .

A key component of this CLOC is to promote academic collaboration between the Swiss and Andes+ CLOC partner members. In this sense, a series of virtual and non-virtual meetings will be organized by CONDESAN to a) identify and prioritize key knowledge gaps that act as bottlenecks for the formulation of effective responses to achieve sustainable development goals in the Andes+ region; b) design effective mechanisms for collaborative knowledge production and communication among key stakeholders; c) share CLOC partners’ accumulated experience in addressing the challenges of moving from knowledge generation to action; and d) articulate with other relevant sustainable development networks in the region.


Design and implementation of a virtual platform for sustainable development information analysis and exchange.

Another important result of this network is the design and implementation of a virtual platform for the analysis and exchange of information on sustainable development. This process began with an assessment of the specific communication needs of the Conéctate A+ partners. Drawing on this process, we developed the contents of this web platform and designed a strategy to keep them up to date.


Small grants for integrated regional assessments.

Conéctate A+ has implemented a small grant program to promote collaborative research linked to its priority areas of interest.


Dissemination of CLOC Conéctate A + results.

The progress and results of this network are being shared with a wider audience. To this end, we have created a monthly newsletter that is distributed to virtually thousands of subscribers linked to the networks of the institutions associated with Conéctate A+. This newsletter includes recent information on a) project funding opportunities; b) new publications on sustainability, health and climate change; and c) reviews of the most innovative initiatives on the topics of interest to this network.

Recent News

Learn about the latest news and events of great importance to all of us.

Partner Institutions


Mountain Research Initiative (MRI)

University of Zurich (UZH)

Consorcio para el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Ecoregión Andina (CONDESAN)

Founding Partners

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Department of Geography

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, School of Sciences and Philosophy

University of Basel, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

ETH Zurich, Weather and Climate Risks Group

Bern University of Applied Sciences School of Agriculture, Forest and Food Sciences

University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Universidad Centroamericana ‘José Simeón Cañas’, San Salvador

CARE, Lima, Peru


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