Connecting Wildlife in the Alicante River Canyon

Ensuring protection for threatened species and sustainable development for communities


The Nordeste and Magdalena Medio regions of Antioquia, Colombia, have unique ecosystems rich in biodiversity. They also have a high potential for conservation and sustainable production activities such as restoration, agroforestry, and organic cocoa and coffee cultivation. In addition, this region has a large number of sites with potential for ecotourism. However, expansion of agriculture, deforestation, fauna and flora trafficking, and illegal mining have increased pressure on endemic and threatened species and biodiversity.

The context

Unsatisfied economic needs and poor transportation routes to the project area have restricted the livelihood of small landowners. This has resulted in a dependency on traditional agriculture, overfishing and extensive livestock farming, activities that degrade and deforest natural ecosystems endangering fauna and flora. Additionally, young people with productive potential are migrating to large cities in search of better job opportunities, decreasing workforce capacity.

The project

This project is implemented in a protected area with karst formations known as Montes Pepinos, where many unique species can be found.

Biodiversity credits generated by the project will allow companies to offset 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. They contribute to the conservation of threatened flora species, such as the purpleheart, yumbé, cumin, carreto, and magnolia; and fauna species such as the blue-billed curassow, brown spider monkey, white-footed tamarin, neotropical otter and jaguar. The project also seeks to certify the Alicante River Canyon under the Verra LandScale standard. It certifies the performance of landscape sustainability to generate incentives locally and internationally.

The project was selected as one of the pilot initiatives for the development of the Verra LandScale standard methodology. This international certification will allow promoting sustainability at a landscape level by verifying environmental, social, and economic-productive impacts, generating incentives for financing conservation activities.

Sustainable activities to be implemented Conservation and restoration:
The protection of forest remnants together with restoration actions for the recovery of forest areas enable ecological connectivity and genetic transit of fauna and flora populations across the region.

Cacao agroforestry:
Cacao is one of the main agricultural products grown by farmers in the region. We provide technical advice to produce high quality, sustainable and organic cacao, setting the goal to trade the final product in more profitable markets.

Silvopastoral systems with native species:
Combination of pastures with shrubs and trees, allows greater plant biomass. This results in greater production of meat and milk, better breeding and therefore, higher economic gains.

Environmental benefits

  • Protection of ecosystems, water sources and endemic species of fauna and flora.
  • Reduction of deforestation risk and biodiversity loss.
  • Increase of ecological connectivity, contribution to the conservation corridors and
    ecosystem services of the tropical humid forest.

Community benefits

  • Productive activities to attend and strengthen local markets, leading to the Improvement
    of social, economic and environmental indicators, increase food and financial security
    through the diversification of rural economic activities.
  • Develop long-term community conservation projects aligned with local economy and
    sustainability principles.
Forest Management Forest Regeneration

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