Healing the Colombian rainforest after the gold rush

This pioneering forestry project contributes to permanent reforestation and long-term monitoring of forests located in northern Colombia, with a particular focus on biodiversity. The project also seeks to promote a sustainable management of forest resources in areas degraded by cattle grazing and mining.

The context

Devastated by years of open-cast alluvial gold mining and destructive livestock farming practices, the survival of the natural capital and biodiversity of two Colombian tropical forest regions (Cáceres, and Cravo Norte) was severely threatened.

The project

In opposition to the common practice of reforestation through planting monocultures for tree plantations, this project aims to restore a real forest, with a focus on reestablishing its rich ecosystem. To date, more than twenty local tree species have been planted. In addition, a multitude of animals have found a safe haven in the forest, which also provides a new habitat for endangered animals, such as jaguars, neotropical otters and various types of monkeys, among others.

The benefits

So far, 1,116 hectares of land has been restored in Cáceres, and 9,640 hectares have been surveyed and mapped in Cravo Norte. The project has been validated according to the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standard (CCB), which is currently the strictest standard for forestation projects. It ensures outstanding biodiversity benefits and the integration of local communities into the project. About 150 people were employed to establish the project, and a further two have received permanent jobs; a vital employment alternative in a region that has long depended on illegal and heavily destructive activities.

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