Protected areas and peace in Colombia

Conflicts over land use and ownership are endangering numerous ecosystems in Colombia – and minimising or resolving/transforming such conflicts contributes not only to peace, but also to the protection of biodiversity. The project is contributing to reducing or resolving/transforming land use and ownership conflicts, thus improving the management of protected areas. It is identifying the causes of deforestation, introducing a system for monitoring deforestation, strengthening plans for sustainable land use, improving capacities for conflict resolution and developing approaches to solutions. The project also strengthens the institutional framework for protected areas by means of dialogue with farmers, and mobilises public and private funds which are then used to conserve biodiversity – and the living conditions of smallholders and landless persons are being improved, making yet another important contribution to the peacekeeping processes. /

Project data

IKI funding
4,018,000.00 €
07/2019 till 03/2024
Political Partner
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) - Colombia
  • Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
Implementing Partner
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Colombia

State of implementation/results

  • Information generation and monitoring:
    • To date, the community monitoring capacities of the participating groups have been strengthened in the Chiribiquete, Picachos, Macarena and Alto Fragua – Indi Wasi (AFIW) National Natural Parks. Six monitoring systems have been designed, one for each participating protected area. Four protected areas have been equipped with monitoring equipment and local monitoring reports are being prepared with community participation. In addition, satellite images of 98 properties (10,469.36 hectares) were analysed and six infographics with information on the causes and effects of deforestation in the six protected areas of the project were produced. Finally, information is being compiled and consolidated for the preparation of monitoring reports with the participation of local monitors in the four aforementioned protected areas.
    • Between March and June of 2023, the traveling photographic exhibition of community monitoring "Caretakers of the territory: the footprints of the community in the forest" was carried out in different villages of the protected areas of AFIW and Chiribiquete, as well as in the city of Bogota. A participatory analysis of the results of the design and implementation process of the participatory monitoring systems of the implementations developed in AFIW, Chiribiquete and Picachos was carried out. As main results, the stakeholders highlighted the permanent process of knowledge dialogue, as well as the empathy and respect existing between the farming families, local partners and institutions; this exercise allowed a greater appropriation of knowledge during the training. Likewise, the committed participation of officials and contractors at the three levels of protected area (central,regional and local) allowed for the articulation between the different information systems.
  • Capacity building, dialogues and conservation agreements:
    • Two training tours on meliponiculture (…) were conducted. In turn, 53 conservation agreements have been strengthened with the participating families. Training processes continue in Picachos, AFIW, Macarena, Chiribiquete and Sumapaz with the participation of local communities, environmental authority officials and representatives of grassroots organizations. Three collective agreements were signed with cocoa and coffee producer associations in AFIW and Macarena. These collective agreements involve a total of 45 families from the associations, as well as National Natural Parks, WWF Colombia and other environmental authorities and entities in the territories, committing the parties to the development of restoration and conservation actions, sustainable production without expanding the agricultural frontier, care and restoration of water sources and the development of farm-level implementations for the participating families.
    • Among the main advances in the dialogue spaces is the Villavicencio Technical Roundtable, which is a technical reference for the inter-institutional articulation route with which the Colombian government, headed by the Ministries of the Environment, Agriculture, Interior and National Natural Parks, is working. This space seeks to provide a comprehensive response to the agreements of Los Pozos, Alta Mira and Villavicencio, and to address the challenges involved in the implementation of the deforestation containment plan, a strategy led by the Ministry of the Environment. Additionally, in the follow-up of compliance with the collective agreements in Chiribiquete and Macarena, there is a high level of commitment on the part of the peasant organizations and families involved, who have advanced soil restoration actions on their lands. In relation to the training processes, 204 peasant families from AFIW, Chiribiquete, Macarena and Sumapaz have participated in the capacity building processes, which were structured based on didactic methodologies that recognize local knowledge and promote safe spaces for participation, exchanges of experiences (tours) and practical scenarios to apply what they have learned.
  • Sustainable livelihoods:
    • 181 land-use planning exercises have been carried out to date. In addition, business skills have been strengthened in seven selected enterprises, five of which already have a market route and defined investment plans. Two of them have reached commercial agreements to export cocoa to Confiserie Dengel ( in Germany. Finally the expansion process of the El Pato - Balsillas Campesino Reserve Zone in San Vicente del Caguán in Caquetá (64,640 additional hectares), together with the Municipal Association of Colonos del Pato (AMCOP) was supported.
    • 15 families in Macarena have received inputs, canopy dryers, equipment and complementary tools for on-farm implementations. Similarly, 32 families in Chiribiquete, 40 families in the El Pato - Balsillas peasant reserve zone and 36 families in AFIW received tools and inputs for concerted meliponiculture implementations. A preliminary analysis of the progress in the number of concerted hectares under the project shows a total of 1,365.96 hectares under restoration, as well as 1,445.9 hectares in sustainable use and 1,703.56 hectares preserved, with 233 families in the 6 protected areas of the project.
  • Sustainable financing mechanisms:
    • A digital platform for measuring impact and connecting investors with conservation projects for Herencia Colombia was designed, and the Private Sector and Investor Engagement Strategy was implemented. Progress was made in the implementation of the Sustainability Strategy with public and public-private funds with the signature of the Permanence Financing Program (PFP) and the financial instrument obtained with private funds for Sumapaz National Park.
    • A public-private alliance has been established in Sumapaz with the participation of two financial institutions, Scotiabank Colpatria in Colombia and BBVA. This alliance promotes the conservation of the páramo ecosystem and the preservation of local culture through the creation of a high mountain nursery and an environmental classroom; this initiative also seeks to raise awareness and find practical solutions for these strategic ecosystems of the country.

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