Incentivising the protection of tropical humid forests in Cimitarra, Santander
Historically and culturally, the department of Santander is one of Colombia's richest regions, and home to many Indigenous groups. It has one of highest numbers of wildlife in all Colombia with over 9,000 species registered, 800 of which are endemic. The fragments of humid tropical forest the project aims to protect are essential habitat for large mammals such as the jaguar (Panthera onca) and the cougar (Puma concolor) who play a key role in keeping the ecosystem balanced. Yet, even the fragments of the humid tropical forest these iconic creatures call home are threatened by expanding agriculture, including animal grazing, and new infrastructure projects. If no action is taken to protect the forest, the area's abundant biodiversity and extensive ecosystem services will be lost.
by creating new jobs and improving local living conditions
making sustainable ways to rear livestock
restored and protected, benefiting key, endemic and threatened specie
This project aims to increase the natural wealth of the area and improve the local quality of life. The general objective is to establish a Biodiversity Bank, which in short works as a conservation mechanism based on Biodiversity Credits, creating economic incentives for private landowners to preserve and maintain biodiversity on their land. To ensure effectiveness, the Biodiversity Bank is based on a payment-for-results scheme. This means the design and implementation of a monitoring, reporting and verification system focuses on obtaining net biodiversity gains. This project seeks to create wide-reaching benefits for all stakeholders directly or indirectly, so the local biodiversity is protected in the long term.
By implementing the Biodiversity Bank in the Las Pampas-Porvenir Nature Reserve, the project ensures that the ecosystem remains healthy and continues to provide vital goods and services. Numerous wildlife species will also see their chance to thrive increase, particularly those threatened from habitat loss, including the tapir (Tapirus terrestris), classed as vulnerable by the IUCN, whose population has decreased more than 30% in the last 30 years, and the endemic blue-billed curassow (Crax alberti). The local community will enjoy a newly invigorated economy, more job opportunities and access to environmental education. This exceptional project uses an approach to positively impact the local community as well as the wildlife.