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Restoration of degraded lands in Jaguar Corridors

Reconnecting critical biodiversity lifelines across the continent


The region has historically been affected by paramilitarism and high levels of poverty, which has left people with precarious livelihoods, often forced to clear land to meet their basic needs. Extensive cattle grazing across the Magdalena Medio region has turned once rich ecosystems into degraded pasture.

Afforestation, Reforestation Revegetation (ARR)

Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung

No Poverty

100+ families

benefit from improved livelihoods and/or increased income

Quality Education

60% student complete secondary school

where they learn about forestry and specifically growing cocoa

Gender Equality

31% of staff are women

and 84% come from nearby villages

Decent work and economic growth

100+ jobs opportunities

helping promote economic growth in the region

Responsible consumption and production

500+ ha of agroforestry

to reduce deforestation and promote the sustainable growth of cocoa

Climate Action

273,000 tonnes of CO2e

mitigated over the project lifetime

Life on land

1,645 hectares of degraded land

protected and restored by the project

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Strengthening citizen participation

enhancing natural and social capital for local communities

The Solution

“Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. E.S.P ISA” created the “Jaguar Connection Fund” into its Corporate Sustainability Program. The primary objective of the fund is to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and mitigation of climate change, as well as prioritize areas for the protection and recovery of the Jaguar natural habitats in Latin America through the implementation of forestry carbon projects. This grouped project is in the Colombian Jaguar corridor. The first instance, Cimitarra, aims to recover nearly 2,000 ha of land degraded by cattle raising in Cimitarra, Santander through the implementation of an agroforestry system that includes the planting of cocoa (Theobroma cacao), abarco (Cariniana pyriformis) and matarratón (Gliricidia sepium) as timber species; commercial reforestation of abarco and assisted natural regeneration. The overall purpose of this initiative is to develop an economically profitable system for the cocoa plantation that simultaneously provides environmental and social benefits to the region. The first cocoa plants were introduced in April 2016. The second instance, Tierralta, consists of reforestation with native species of areas that have been degraded by livestock in the municipality of Tierralta, department of Córdoba. This forestry project contributes to the recovery of the native vegetation through the reforestation of about 200 ha of degraded grazing land with the planting of native wood-bearing species. The land recuperation is focused on commercial reforestation and enrichment with ceiba tolua (Pachira quinata), and an agroforestry system with cocoa and abarco. The first ceiba plants were introduced in September 2015.


The Impact

The project simultaneously addresses the results and drivers of climate change, namely capturing CO2 through carbon sequestration and addressing the socio-economic drivers by creating an economically profitable product - cacao - without harming the environment. Working closely with the local communities the project generates a lasting positive social impact thanks to education; increasing citizen participation and environmental awareness; creating stable jobs and income streams; improving health services and access to annual medical checks; and supporting families to make home improvements. The project activities benefit the exceptional biodiversity in the area, notably through restoring, reconnecting and protecting the previously fragmented habitat of five critically endangered species. Additionally, as a top of the food chain, some experts indicate that protecting keystone species - in this case, jaguars - results in cascading positive effects for the wider ecosystem.

Project ID: 301977