Colombia strengthened its capacities to better manage its forests with UN-REDD’s support

May 30, 2018

Capacities of indigenous peoples to participate in dialogues and policy-making over deforestation and degradation strengthened. Photo: UNDP

Bogota, May 30, 2018. Organizational strengthening and empowerment around environmental issues, climate change, deforestation and conservation, are some of the results delivered by the UN-REDD Programme in Colombia after three years of work with different stakeholders related to forest governance and reducing deforestation and forest degradation, allowing Colombia to fulfill national and international commitments.

UN-REDD worked hand-in-hand with indigenous peoples and local communities to strengthen capacities, to promote better forest management and conservation, facilitating informed dialogues, technical information, and policy recommendations in different decision-making platforms.

“With this support we have been able to build a better structured environmental agenda and we have learned what each of these issues mean at national and international levels. Today we have expertise and we must bring it to the communities who protect our territories,” expressed Luis Fernando Arias, Senior Advisor of the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC).

Cesar Jeréz, spokesperson for the National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones (ANZORC) added that “with UN-REDD we advance an entire process with the communities of the Peasant Reserve Zones of the country that seeks to find a strategy to control deforestation. I believe that this was very important because peasants know first-hand the objectives of UN-REDD and as a result, through participation and concrete proposals, were able to move forward with the implementation of the strategy.”

One of the main results was the active support in the construction of a pathway for the implementation of REDD+ contextualized to the country, by developing the Integrated Forest Management and Deforestation Control Strategy: "Forests - Territories of Life". The Strategy incorporates a vision for the protection and management of forests that goes beyond the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and degradation to a commitment to seeing the forest as an axis for development.

Colombia’s Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo highlighted that “the Integrated Forest Management and Deforestation Control Strategy is the t is the most participatory public policy that has been built in the country with a national focus that seeks to reduce deforestation, improve the quality of life of people living in forests, and contribute to the peacebuilding process by responding to the realities of the territory, traditional knowledge, culture and the particular opportunities of the people of each region”.

In this regard, José Absalón Suárez, spokesman for the Colombian Pacific black communities said: "We have identified six horcones, which is what in the strategy are called pillars or strategic lines. We call them horcones to give life to our culture, to the traditional elements. Each one has policies, measures and actions that have to be implemented. The diagnoses regarding deforestation and degradation incorporate the local and regional peculiarities so that the national analysis includes the perspective of the communities ".

The Programme generated jointly with the MADS and the IDEAM, an input document for the Deforestation Control National Policy, which should be adopted by the CONPES (planning implementation document under the National Council for Economic and Social Matters). This has allowed the country to comply with some requirements established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the National Development Plan (2014-2018), and Colombia’s Joint Declaration of Intent (DCI) held with the governments of Germany, the United Kingdom and Norway.

The Program also supported the strengthening of the Forest and Carbon Monitoring System, led by the IDEAM, that allows the country to have a mechanism for reporting and monitoring in real time what happens in forest ecosystems around the country. Through articulation with local communities from different parts of the country, participatory community monitoring would provide ground-truthing and feedback on the information produced by the system.

Likewise, important partnerships with the Climate and Forests program of the GIZ, the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility from the World Bank and the the Colombian NGO Fondo Acción Action Fund, in order to provided coordinated support to the National Government in all matters of deforestation and degradation.

The implementation of the Programme was led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) the Institute of Environmental Studies, the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Organization (UN Environment) as well as by Indigenous Organizations, Afro-Colombian Organizational Platforms and Peasant Organizations.

To access the full report of the results of the UN-REDD Programme in Colombia visit: https://goo.gl/gMBydW

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean 
Go to UNDP Global