EU Announces EUR 3.1 Million for Colombia’s Protected Areas

30 March 2011: The European Union (EU) is providing 3.1 million Euros to a project on "Environmental Governance to Prevent Deforestation and Promote Forest Conservation of the Colombian Amazon."

The project is consistent with an expression of interest submitted by the Government of Colombia to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) LifeWeb Initiative, titled "Strengthening Colombia's National Protected Areas." It is expected to improve livelihoods in the Colombian Amazon through: the prevention of deforestation; forest conservation; and sustainable use activities in protected areas, indigenous reserves and their buffer zones. It also will strengthen collaborative environmental governance among the Colombian Government, traditional indigenous authorities and grassroots organizations.

According to Julia Miranda Londono, Director of Colombian Parks, the Colombian Amazon represents 44% of the Colombian national territory. She said the project will contribute to the sustainable financing of protected areas, and the benefits they provide to people, through payments for ecosystem services. She noted that the cooperation is being coordinated within the context of the ongoing Financing Roundtable for Colombia's Protected Areas.

Fernando Cardesa, Ambassador of the EU Delegation in Colombia, said the project "seeks to ensure that indigenous communities actively participate in the creation and implementation of the State's social and environmental regulations as they relate to their own priorities and culture, among which are included the conservation of their ecosystems and natural resources, on which they depend for their social, cultural and economic survival." [CBD Press Release]