Asorpar Colombian Reforestation Test
This project is reforesting degraded pasture and mining lands in northern Colombia. In addition to establishing a rich, native forest ecosystem, the project creates sustainable local livelihoods to reduce environmentally destructive activities.
Where & Why
Cáceres and Cravo Norte are two important tropical forest regions in northern Colombia. These environments have been devastated by years of destructive activities. Biodiverse forest ecosystems were cleared and used to graze cattle. In addition, extensive gold mining left behind degraded soil, damaged vegetation, and polluted freshwater sources. On top of these environmental impacts, guerilla and paramilitary activities resulted in high levels of instability and economic depression in the region.
How & Who
This innovative community-based project supports permanent reforestation of degraded pasture and mining lands and promotes the sustainable management of forest resources. The project focuses on reestablishing a rich forest ecosystem by planting a mixture of native tree species. In total, approximately 11,000 hectares of degraded land will be restored.
As tree species are planted, the water quality in the area is improving and a multitude of animals are already returning to this new habitat. The rejuvenated forested area provides a refuge for endangered species such as the mountain tapir, spectacled bear, and grey-bellied night monkey. The reforested woody vegetation reduces greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing and storing carbon.
The project also creates much-needed employment opportunities in an area with few potential income sources. About 150 people were employed to establish the tree plantation. In addition, local communities will be hired to conduct the on-going seed collecting, tree planting, maintenance, and sustainable harvesting activities. These jobs will provide vital alternative livelihood opportunities that help replace illegal and destructive activities.
Communities also benefit from the regular trainings that are offered through the project. These trainings aim to improve local health by raising awareness about sanitation and nutrition best practices. For instance, talks may focus on topics such as antiseptic use, cooking healthy meals, or using clean cooking stoves.
- Creates new habitat for endangered animals
- Re-establishes a rich forest ecosystem
- Reduces environmental damage from destructive activities
- Mitigates climate change through carbon storage
- Improves water and soil quality
- Creates jobs for local communities
- Improves health and education
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