- Protects more than 500,000 hectares of forests and endangered animals like macaws, jaguars, and toucans
- Protects a huge range of biodiversity and thousands of species of plants and animals, many at risk of extinction
- Provides jobs and training for indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities to achieve sustainable economic growth, and improves access to healthcare, education, energy, and basic services
Colombia is one of the world’s 12 megadiverse countries and home to ~ 10% of the world’s animal and plant species. Its Pacific coast is rich in forests and wildlife, and the territory of Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities. But illegal timber extraction, often the only source of income for one of the country’s poorest areas, has caused forests to be converted to agriculture and pasture. The Pacific Forest Communities (PFC) projects aim to generate alternative economic activities and to build capacity in administration, governance, and management.
Characterized by a variety of ecosystems from tropical rainforests to coastal mangroves and wetlands, Colombia’s Pacific coast has incredible native biodiversity. PFC activities to reduce deforestation and degradation will improve and restore biodiversity, enabling forests to return to an approximately natural state within 15 years. Unique animal species, vegetation, and threatened ecosystems create high conservation values throughout the terrain.
More than 8,000 families and 40,000 people, including 20 Afro-Colombian community councils and indigenous councils, are benefiting from PFC work to strengthen local institutions, build governance capacity, and improve the equitable distribution of benefits and the preservation of cultural values. The projects are also providing healthcare, education, clean water, sanitation, and alternative livelihoods, including eco-tourism and sustainable commodities such as acai, cocoa, and coconut.
PFC will prevent the emissions of 70 million tonnes of CO2 over its 30-year lifetime, validated and verified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). It has also achieved CCB Gold status for exceptional community benefits.
PFC is home to many endemic and/or endangered species such as the pavón, a large bird that is critically endangered due to hunting for food and habitat loss, and to vulnerable species like the tigrillo, brown-headed spider monkey, leatherback turtle, giant anteater, black-and-chestnut eagle, golden eagle, and guayacama. The region also hosts many endangered tree species that are prized for their high-value timber, including abarco (Colombian mahogany), nispero (sapodilla), cedar, and oak.