Colombia is launching a multi-million-dollar initiative meant to increase its proportion of protected land and marine areas over the next decade, and its ultimate goal is to get back on track toward protecting a third of its land and water by 2030.
“This is a commitment to have a stronger protected area system in Colombia to support the preservation of the megadiverse country for future generations and to contribute to the wellbeing of local communities,” explains Sandra Valenzuela, the Executive Director of WWF-Colombia, one of the organizations behind the Heritage Colombia project.
The $245-million project focuses on the creation, expansion, and improvement of 32 million hectares of protected land and marine areas. Should the project be successful, the country would reach its target of protecting 30% of its water – and would also protect 26% of its land – eight years ahead of its initial schedule. Around 10% of the world’s biodiversity is contained within Colombia’s territory, including 12% of the Amazon rainforest. The Heritage Colombia project – a Project Finance for Permanence initiative that secures money from the private and public sectors for wide-reaching long-term projects – is supported by some of the world’s largest international conservation groups such as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Enduring Earth, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Wildlife Conservation Society.