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Weaving a Sustainable Future - A New REDD+ Project in Colombia

An Indigenous woman weaves a basket in Colombia

This is an exciting time for Wildlife Works, as new projects that have been under development for years are starting to yield exciting success stories.

In the Amazonian region of Colombia, the Association of Traditional Indigenous Authorities of Querarí (ASATIQ) has begun a REDD+ project with Wildlife Works to protect their forest and adapt to climate change by improving traditional food production systems and co-creating new sustainable economic opportunities.

Indigenous women of ASATIQ have preserved their cultural heritage of weaving intricate baskets. For Wildlife Works, market-based solutions extend beyond carbon credits. Wildlife Works’ community development team has found new ways to bring these beautiful, eco-friendly baskets to a wider market. At the end of last year, women from ASATIQ brought their baskets to a six-day trade fair.

An intricate red and black basket made by an Indigenous Woman on the side of a river in Colombia

At this event, they exchanged knowledge, experiences, and products with other artisans from different parts of Colombia.They also established commercial relationships with national and international clients, identified potential markets for their products, and successfully sold over 16,000 USD worth of baskets. One hundred percent of these sales stayed with the artisans.

Through this trade fair, the women made their ethnic group and territory known to thousands of fair attendees, and inspired other artisans in their region to expand their bio-economy ventures into new and better markets.

An Indigenous woman weaves a basket in Colombia

"My grandmother, God rest her soul, taught me how to weave. Now I can support my children with this craft," says Aurora Gonzalez, a community member of ASATIQ. As this additional source of sustainable income grows, there will be less pressure to cut down trees to expand family “chagras” (small farms). On top of the tangible economic benefits, the basket-weaving group is strengthening community bonds and renewing pride in their ancestral tradition.

This is one of many positive solutions that REDD+ is providing local communities around the world, especially female-led initiatives that preserve invaluable cultural heritage. These are the stories that inspire hope and are worth sharing in times like these.

If you speak Spanish, follow our Latin American team’s work on Instagram and Facebook. Sign up for our newsletter, where we promise to bring you our community partners’ success stories about fighting climate change and protecting wildlife.

A group of Indigenous Colombians hold their basket by a river


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