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.