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Smiling and smart looking Erica Cunningham, in black and white, headshot; to left is headshot of Jose Luis Chicoma, also black and white photo, he has dark curly hair, glasses, and a slight smile.
Erica Cunningham (left), Associate Vice President, Latin America, Fisheries and Oceans, Environmental Defense Fund; José Luis Chicoma (right), Senior Advisor to the United Nations Development Program for Food Systems.

Climate change is causing disruptions in everything from our daily lives to global supply chains. As a major food producer and home to 40% of the world’s biodiversity, Latin America will not only feel the brunt of climate change but as a region it is on center stage to demonstrate a way forward.

Food and Climate Justice in Latin America; Pathways for Sustainability and Resilience under a Blue Economy
Speakers:

  • Erica Cunningham, Associate Vice President, Latin America, Fisheries and Oceans Environmental Defense Fund

  • José Luis Chicoma, Senior Advisor to the United Nations Development Program for Food Systems.

Thursday, October 5, 2023
6:00pm to 7:00pm Pacific Time
Online via Zoom (details below)

About the Topic

Climate change is causing disruptions in everything from our daily lives to global supply chains. As a major food producer and home to 40% of the world’s biodiversity, Latin America will not only feel the brunt of climate change but as a region it is on center stage to demonstrate a way forward that can meet the UN SDGs as well as countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDC) and Convention on Biodiversity targets. This talk will discuss various pathways in Latin America for how these goals can be reached through a transition to a sustainable blue economy that ensures food security and climate justice. Case studies from Mexico and Chile will demonstrate both progress and challenges at various levels of governance from local leadership to national level policy and international cooperation.

About the Speakers

Erica Cunningham

Erica has fifteen years of experience working around the globe and specifically in Latin America to develop and implement sustainable and resilient solutions for community development and livelihoods, resource management, and ecosystem health. Erica began her career at Econergy International helping to craft a corporate social responsibility program for renewable energy projects across Latin America. She then served as the Executive Director for the Punta de Mita Foundation in Mexico. In 2010 she joined Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) where she managed the Upper Gulf of California program, from there she focused on creating scalable tools for EDF’s Fisheries Solutions Center, and then helped to start EDF’s programs in South America. She now serves as the Associate Vice President for Latin America in EDF’s Fisheries and Oceans program. Erica has an MA in international development and environmental policy from Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Middlebury College in international studies. Erica also has a certification in environmental conflict resolution from the Udall Institute for Environmental Negotiation.

José Luis Chicoma

José Luis Chicoma is an expert in sustainable food systems, with more than 20 years of experience in policy making, research and design and network building for sustainable development and food systems.. During his tenure as Minister of Production in Peru, as part of the country’s 2020-2021 transition government, he put sustainable food systems at the heart of his work. He designed and won approval of measures aimed at promoting the modernization of food markets; bringing added value to agricultural products; and building sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, among other key reforms.

Currently, José Luis is Senior Advisor to the United Nations Development Program, where he is in charge of the research and design of UNDP’s Food Systems Resilience and Transformation Strategy, which will guide the global, regional, national, and local work of the organization on food systems.

Previously, José Luis served as executive director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, a Mexico City-based think tank that works on governance and food systems. There, he led research, designed policy proposals, and promoted a systemic vision of food, linking various sectors and policies across disciplines including agriculture, fishing, climate change, and nutrition.

José Luis also held several high-level positions in Peru’s public sector, including serving as Vice Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Industries; Director of Export Promotion for PROMPERU; and Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism.

 

He frequently writes and speaks internationally on the intersection of food and politics. He holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a BA in Economics from the Universidad del Pacífico, and was a 2017 Yale World Fellow and 2018 Stanford Draper Hills Fellow.

Recommended Reading

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Questions

The Center for the Blue Economy is a research organization at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Our mission is to promote a sustainable ocean and coastal economy (the “Blue Economy”) through leadership in research, analysis, and education.  For questions contact: Rachel C. at cbe@middlebury.edu or visit centerfortheblueeconomy.org or call 831-647-4183 (must leave message and receive call back).

 

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