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Our projects in Colombia seek to protect 1.6  million hectares of forest at risk in the departments of Vaupés    and Chocó. With a focus on transparent and inclusive processes, we work hand in hand with Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities to improve the wellbeing of thousands of families, and to conserve the region's rich biodiversity. 

 Within one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, Colombia,  we have 4   projects in development.    The projects span two distinct ecoregions: the Amazon and the Pacific Coast. 

PHOTO GALLERY

2,915

COMMUNITY

PARTNERS

549,178

HECTARES

OF FOREST PROTECTED

8

ENDANGERED

SPECIES PROTECTED

1,298,837

tCO2e  EMISSIONS

AVOIDED PER YEAR

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AMAZON ECOREGION COLOMBIA

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THE COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Our 2    projects in the Amazonian ecoregion are home to over 2,000 community members, the majority of whom are Indigenous to the area.

In the Amazonian rainforests of Colombia, Indigenous people have been stewards of their lands and resources for thousands of years. Their spiritual reverence and deep connection to the forests have helped maintain the rich biodiversity and health of these invaluable ecosystems.

 

In Vaupes, the Association of Traditional Indigenous Authorities of the Yapú Zone (ASATRIZY) includes 8 communities and the Carapana, Tatuyo, Tucano, Bara and Tuyuca Indigenous groups. The Association of Traditional Indigenous Authorities of Querarí (ASATIQ) includes 17 communities and the Cubeo Indigenous group. 

In these projects, generations of traditional knowledge are being interwoven with modern techniques to help increase food security as populations grow, decrease reliance on unsustainable “slash and burn” farming methods, identify alternative construction materials, and create jobs for alternative income sources.  Locally formed Community Councils self-govern with respect to each community’s own customs and traditions and actively direct how project revenues are used.

ARTICLE 01

MAKING AN ALLIANCE

Diego Ramírez from the Association of Indigenous Authorities of Yapú (ASATRIZY) shares    the reasons why he chose Wildlife Works as an ally.

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ARTICLE 02

MUJERES MÚRUI

Meet Victoria Yaci,    a female leader championing    women's    empowerment in her community, Puerto Refugio.

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COMMUNITY STORIES

FPIC MEETINGS

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We hold ourselves accountable to thorough and culturally appropriate free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). This means creating culture and place specific carbon market training sessions to make sure they are making an informed decision - especially if the community has an oral tradition. We establish clear grievance procedures and communities know they have the right to withdraw their consent throughout the lifetime of the project. 

​-GILDARDO CALDERÓN
PUTUMAYO, COLOMBIA

"We depend on Mother Earth in order to have the products we need for our families. That's why it our duty to keep the territory healthy."

TRANSPARENT  COMMUNICATION
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One of the main aspects for teamwork to be successful is clear and transparent communication.

Together with the members of the communities, we have designed and installed a series of boards with all the information about meetings, project processes and contact numbers so that all the people who inhabit the territory and are part of the project can actively be involved in the different project activities.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE
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In each of the projects developed by Wildlife Works, the community selects people belonging to different communities located in the territory and who are part of the conservation project to be developed. This Committee is in charge of ensuring the interests of each community, proposing early investments and monitoring the entire process.

JOBS PROTECTING BIODIVERSITY
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Locally-hired   Indigenous eco-guards help to monitor and protect wildlife within the project area. 

FOCAL

WILDLIFE SPECIES

° Boa constrictor 

BOA CONSTRICTOR

Boa constrictors are famously one of the largest snakes on our planet. Individuals are generally between 2 and 3 meters in length, with females usually being larger than males. Boas sense the world around them through vibrations, light waves in the ultraviolet spectrum, and chemical signals picked up by the flick of their tongue. Unlike venomous snakes, boas wrap their prey in the coils of their body and squeeze until the prey dies from asphyxiation. Boa constrictors play a key ecological role as predators of birds and small mammals. They are important predators of rodents especially, which without boa constrictors present, can become pests in some areas and carry human diseases. Overcollection for the pet trade and direct persecution has had a negative impact on many Boa constrictor populations.

° Panthera Onca

JAGUAR

Jaguars are the largest cat species in South America, and have great ecological, cultural, and spiritual significance. It is estimated that around 15,000 jaguars remain in Colombia, and about 170,000 jaguars persist in the Americas as a whole. The species once stretched from the southern United States to northern Argentina, but its range has since been halved and the species is extinct in several countries, due to the primary threats of habitat loss, illegal trade, hunting, and climate change.

 °Inia geoffrensis

AMAZON RIVER DOLPHIN

Amazon river dolphins, also known as pink river dolphins, are captivating creatures found in the freshwater systems throughout six countries of South America. These dolphins navigate the murky waters of the Amazon river primarily with echolocation, and play a crucial role in the ecological balance of their habitats, serving as top predators that help control fish populations and maintain the health of the ecosystem. Their distinctive pink coloration is thought to be a result of capillaries located close to the skin's surface, which may become more prominent when they are excited, similar to how humans blush. However, the exact reason for their pink hue remains a topic of scientific investigation. Despite their importance and uniqueness, Amazon river dolphins face numerous threats, such as habitat destruction, pollution, and accidental entanglement in fishing gear. These factors have led to a decline in their populations, making them classified as endangered by the IUCN.

 ° Ramphastos tucanus

WHITE-THROATED TOUCAN

The White-throated Toucan occurs naturally throughout the Amazon in south-eastern Colombia. White-throated toucans are stunning birds native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America. These toucans are easily recognized by their vibrant plumage, with a black body, bright yellow breast, and a distinctive white patch on their throat. Their most notable feature is their large, colorful beak, which is used for a variety of purposes, including reaching fruits, catching insects, and vocalizations. White-throated toucans are arboreal and spend most of their time in the canopy of the rainforest, where they form small groups or pairs. They are frugivorous, feeding primarily on fruits, but also consume insects and small reptiles. While their populations are generally considered stable, deforestation and habitat loss pose threats to their survival, as they rely on intact forest ecosystems. Efforts to protect their habitats and raise awareness about their conservation are crucial to ensure the continued presence of these charismatic birds in their natural habitats.

​THE FOREST

Colombia is home to 10% of the vast Amazon rainforest, the lungs of our earth.

The forests of Vaupés are characterized by unfragmented, humid tropical rainforest. Many prized species, such as rosewood and mahogany, put the forest at threat from outside illegal commercial loggers. Additionally, illegal mining for black sands and precious metals put the area under threat. Project activities to help reduce these drivers of deforestation include increased forest monitoring and protection, conservation agriculture and job creation.

KASIGAU CORRIDOR

KENYA

In Kenya, the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ project protects 200,000 hectares of forest.

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PACIFIC ECOREGION

COLOMBIA

In the Pacific Ecoregion of Colombia, we have 3 projects in development protecting 500,000  hectares of  forest.

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EXPLORE OUR OTHER PROJECTS

ORIGINS

More than half of Colombia’s continental surface is covered with natural forests, but over the last six years, the country has lost close to 1 million acres of forests, which is equivalent to roughly 1 million soccer fields. This situation generates a spiral of socio-environmental conflicts that affect the forest community members, local climate and the country’s rich biodiversity.

 

Deforestation in Colombia is the result of a complex combination of historical and socio-economic factors, but is primarily linked to the rapid expansion of the agricultural frontier. This includes land grabbing for cattle ranching and illegal activities, such as the extraction and exploitation of precious minerals, illicit crops such as coca leaf, and commercial timber.

 

Some of the underlying causes for this rapid deforestation are the lack of productive and sustainable economic alternatives for local communities, weak regional and local governance structures, insufficient governmental presence and a pervasive and ongoing armed conflict.

THE PROJECTS

Wildlife Works began work in Colombia in 2018 to provide technical assistance in all phases of project implementation of 8 USAID-funded REDD+ projects on Colombia’s pacific coast, commonly known as Portafolio REDD+ Pacífico or Portafolio BioREDD. Soon after, we initiated our own process of project sourcing and development in Colombia.

Projects in the Amazon Ecoregion include:

USEFUL LINKS

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