Planting trees to mitigate climate change and reduce pressure on threatened natural ecosystems
The project is nestled in the incredibly biodiverse Orinoco river basin, which houses two critically endangered ecosystems. In fact, Colombia is the world's second most biodiverse country by square kilometer and is home to some 10% of the world's flora and fauna. Yet rates of deforestation are soaring. In 2020, an area of forest twice the size of New York City was razed, primarily from cattle ranching, unsustainable agricultural practices and logging. Urgent solutions are therefore required for the country to protect its remaining forests and cut its GHG emissions.
between 2011-2020, on topics like planting, monitoring and safety at work
in an industry typically dominated by men
contributing to local development in the region
on average each year since the project started
helping to ease pressure on the old-growth forest and protect that habitat of endangered wildlife
The Puerto Carreño project is designed to create a commercially viable alternative to extensive cattle ranching which has left much of the project area degraded. To do this, the project increases forest cover in the region, sequesters carbon and produces sustainable timber. Under the supervision of local experts, almost 200 local employees plant, maintain and harvest carefully selected native tree species across 3,000 hectares!
The project has driven a shift in how the land is used, turning it back into a healthy carbon sink. By producing timber using practices that adhere to the highest environmental standards and promoting the conservation of wildlife corridors, the project eases pressure on the rich surrounding natural ecosystems–including rare, flooded palm groves– as they are no longer depleted for timber or cleared for agriculture. This protects the habitat of four endangered or critically endangered species in the region, including the Giant Otter. Additionally, given that the project is based in an area with few formal opportunities for work, the project’s technical training scheme and jobs are well received by people living nearby. On top of this, other income-generating initiatives like beekeeping and artisanal craftwork have been launched to ensure local communities don’t have to rely on unsustainable practices to make ends meet.