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Connecting wildlife in the Alicante River Canyon

Protecting threatened species and creating opportunities for local sustainable development


The Nordeste and Magdalena Medio regions of Antioquia, Colombia are known for their unique ecosystems and extraordinary biodiversity. However, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, deforestation, fauna and flora trafficking, and illegal mining have increased the pressure on endemic and threatened wildlife. The blue-billed curassow (Crax Alberti), brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), white-footed tamarin (Saguinus leucopus) and jaguar (Panthera onca) are among the wildlife that call the region home. Many flora species such as purpleheart (Peltogyne paniculata), cumin (Aniba perutilis), yumbé (Caryodaphnopsis cogolloi) and zamia (Zamia incognita) are also threatened. The need for conservation and new sustainable activities, including restoration, agroforestry, organic cocoa, coffee cultivation, and even ecotourism is increasingly more urgent.

Afforestation, Reforestation Revegetation (ARR)

Sustainable Development Goals

8. Decent work and economic growth

63 landowners

creating new job opportunities

10. Reduced Inequalities

Over 8,000 people

benefitting in the Nordeste region of Antioquia

11. Sustainable communities and cities

15 settlements in Maceo, Yolombó and Puerto Berrío municipalities

will benefit from improved ecosystem services

13. Climate Action

Over 10,200 hectares

reserved for conservation, restoration and sustainable activities

15. Life on land

Over 830 species of flora and fauna

protected thanks to the project

The Solution

The project aims to protect critically endangered species such as the blue-billed curassow, which numbers less than 2,500 individuals in the wild, according to the IUCN. It does this by developing activities to allow the forest and water sources to recover while creating alternative forest-friendly livelihood opportunities for local communities, like agroforestry and silvopasture. South Pole teaches the landowners how they can receive sustainability certifications and trade their products in more competitive and specialized markets so they can increase their income and therefore improve their quality of life. By creating diverse income streams, communities are able to move away from practices that damage the environment, ensuring the project is sustainable in the long-term. As an added value, conservation actions will promote ecotourism.


The Impact

Environmental benefits:

  • Protecting ecosystems at risk and conserving endemic and threatened species of fauna and flora.
  • Protecting of water sources and hydrobiological species.
  • Reducing deforestation and biodiversity loss risks due to the expansion of the agricultural frontier.
  • Increasing of ecological connectivity and contribution to the conservation corridors determined by the regional environmental authority.
  • Protecting and enhancing the ecosystem services provided by tropical humid forests.
  • Reducing human-induced pressure on ecosystems and natural resources.
  • Channeling mandatory corporate compensations towards more efficient conservation mechanisms focused on the conservation priorities of the region.

Community benefits:

  • Implementing productive activities within a regional protected area, according to the guidelines of the environmental authority and the DRMI zoning.
  • Supporting small and medium producers by promoting more competitive agricultural products with better transportation and commercialization.
  • Increasing food and financial security through the diversification of rural economic activities.
  • Improving the supply of natural resources thanks to less polluting sustainable production.
  • Developing of long-term community conservation projects in alignment with the local economy and sustainability principles.

Protecting threatened species meets local sustainable development at the Alicante River Canyon - but don't take it from us, see for yourself!

Project Partner

How do our biodiversity credits work?

The biodiversity credits generated by this project allows companies to take responsibility for their environmental impacts and invest in the preservation of natural capital, supporting the development of rural communities and protecting biodiversity in an effective and measurable way.

South Pole's biodiversity, ecological connectivity and landscape strategy is focused on long-term impact. Matching our technical experience in conservation, restoration and implementation of sustainable activities with the specific social dynamics of the communities we work is a recipe for a successful, transformative project.

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Project ID: 302793
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