Big Wins 2017: Forests | WWF

Big Wins 2017: Forests

Posted on 23 diciembre 2017
Aerial photograph of clouds and mountains in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain rage of Colombia.
© Days Edge Productions / WWF-US
Colombia is a forest country; forest cover persists in 53% of the national territory. Nevertheless, Colombia faces the challenge of drastically reducing an upsurge in deforestation: between 2015 and 2016, the national deforestation rate increased by 44% and, according to IDEAM, in 2016 alone 178,696 hectares were converted to other uses.
A key strategy to confront this challenge is to create new and larger, interconnected protected areas and to ensure that both existing and new areas receive the care and attention necessary for their future wellbeing and persistence. Towards this end, Herencia Colombia, an ambitious bet for the long-term funding of protected areas, was launched this year. It is a Permanent Financing Program led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, National Natural Parks, Patrimonio Natural, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, WWF, WCS, and CI and supported by GEF, Corazón de Amazonía, the World Bank, and the Bobolink and MacArthur Foundations, among others.

© Days Edge Productions / WWF-Us

Since we must work on several fronts simultaneously, and food production is among the most significant pressures on both forest and non-forest ecosystems, we helped propel the TFA 2020 Colombia Alliance, a public-private initiative made up by 33 institutions that promote the reduction of deforestation associated with the agricultural production and supply chains of the palm oil, beef, milk, and timber industries.

Palma de aceite  / © Audra Melton / WWF-US
Reaching a zero deforestation goal requires collective efforts with actors from Colombia’s entire social spectrum, in addition to academia. Bearing this in mind, Universidad del Valle and Agenda Ambiental en Movimiento, with support from WWF-Colombia and the Hanns Seidel Stiftung Foundation –HSS of Germany– created the Peace and Reconciliation with Nature Diploma course. This setting for dialogue and training brought together at Universidad del Valle more than 50 social and environmental organizations, in addition to teachers, students, and researchers. In person and remotely, former combatants from illegal armed groups like the FARC and ELN also participated in the 12 courses that discussed the National Development Plan, legislation and environmental justice, theology and environment, the energy-mining model, and the national land reform. Participants and organizers agreed that it was the first time in this kind of setting that different voices gathered to build a concept for peace where the environment served as a common thread, and that, just a few years ago, this would have been impossible.

Primer diplomado de Paz y Reconciliación con la Naturaleza /  © Diana Ríos

Continue reading about the achievements and progress we made during 2017 here.

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Aerial photograph of clouds and mountains in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain rage of Colombia.
© Days Edge Productions / WWF-US Enlarge