On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, Colombia’s Antioquia regional environmental authority, CorAntioquia, established the 13,000 acre Cacica Noría Regional Protected Area. This area protects rich cloud forests of the Andes, the world’s highest biodiversity ecoregion, together with a diversity of other ecosystems and is the source of three of Colombia’s rivers, the Anorí, Porce and Nechí. Putting these lands under protected area status will safeguard the habitat of many endangered species including a number of frogs, plants and birds. Nature and Culture International partnered with CorAntioquia by providing funds for the biological studies and community outreach needed to create the reserve.
Felipe Serrano who oversees NCI’s work in Colombia says, “This is an amazing place, and it’s been gratifying for us to work in partnership with CorAntioquia to protect this treasure.” Biodiversity indicators include 1,439 species of plants, 21 of which are new to science, an astonishing 92 species of amphibians (17 threatened), over 100 reptiles and more than 400 birds (18 threatened). Many of these are endemic to Colombia, making this a true biodiversity hotspot.
Approximately 90 percent of the area will be under strict protection while the remaining 10 percent will be available for sustainable agriculture and forest restoration activities.
“The area will be co-managed by CorAntioquia and the municipality of Anorí, with the participation of the Anorí Environmental Working Group, that is comprised of local and community stakeholders” says Alejandro Gonzalez, CorAntioquia’s Director. The area also includes a 3,270 acre reserve owned and managed by Colombian group ProAves, that created the area to protect the core habitat of the critically endangered Chestnut-Capped Piha.
Byron Swift, President of NCI notes, “we are very pleased to help CorAntioquia protect this area, that is a wonderful gift to the country, and to the world. It’s also one more step forward towards NCI’s goal of establishing 20 million acres of protected areas by 2020!”