TBI in Colombia works towards the sustainable management, preservation and restoration of the Solano landscape with special attention to cultural, social and economic aspects of indigenous groups, peasants, women and youth.
The landscape is located near the municipality of Solano, in the southern department of Caquetá, Colombia. The area has one of the highest deforestation rates in the country and it is expected to continue rising. Initially, deforestation took place for the establishment of illicit coca crops but now the forest is converted into pastures mainly for cattle ranching. This process has transformed the vegetation cover, creating a mosaic of forests and open areas.
The guerrilla that dominated this area had imposed environmental rules that controlled deforestation and promoted the protection of water sources. But since the signing of the peace agreement when the guerrilla became demobilized, deforestation has been increasing in part due to the little control the state has over the area.
The Solano landscape functions as an ecological corridor of two large National Parks, Chiribiquete and La Paya, which occupy more than 5 million hectares. And is home for different actors with different types of land tenure: indigenous resguardos with collective property titles, peasants’ private lands and state forest lands.
TBI believes that an intercultural climate-smart landscape with high forest cover can contribute to the connectivity and to maintain the ecological and climatic processes between the Amazon and the Andes, while providing an improved livelihood and income benefits to the inhabitants.
What we do:
- Promote a multi-stakeholder platform to consolidate the different visions on the landscape and production systems for an integrated spatial planning by the local government;
- Promote the construction of a citizen agenda based on training in climate change adaptation and mitigation, including the restoration of forests and actions to solve socioecological conflicts between neighbours (especially between peasants and indigenous resguardos);
- Develop effective and inclusive models that promote restoration, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in the main ecosystems present in the landscape;
- Develop training programmes about commercialization of forest products for peasant and indigenous communities;
- Generate and implement tailor-made financial mechanisms that promote the conservation and restoration of forests;
- Promote the formulation of a participatory policy on women and care of the environment together with other CSO´s and the municipality;
- Promote a cultural change to value forests and trees; and
- Develop a productive forest restoration model
Tropenbos International works in Colombia through its local network partner Tropenbos Colombia.
Tropenbos International has been operational in Colombia since 1987. It started in Araracuara and from 2008 it has expanded nationwide. In 2017, Tropenbos Colombia became a legal national entity of Colombia and a member of the Tropenbos International network.
In the last years TBI has strengthened the capacities, designed training programs, provided tools and enhanced self-confidence of indigenous communities in the Amazon rainforest to participate in the formulation and implementation of effective environmental management processes. The programme has led to highlight traditional and local knowledge and promote the dialogue with academia and governmental institutions and create conditions for participation and inclusive political agenda based on technical, traditional and local knowledge. In 2018, the programme received the Colombian Science Award 2018 for its work on the local knowledge about the ecological interactions of the great catfish “Piraiba” of the Amazon Waters.