Ecuador’s neighbor to the north, Colombia is home to more vertebrate species than any other country on Earth, and ranks number one in the world in terms of bird, amphibian and butterfly species. Roughly 10% of the planet’s species are found amid its many ecosystems, which range from the Andes Mountains and Amazon rainforest to grasslands and coral reefs. Colombia is also home to more than 90 different indigenous groups.
Despite this miraculous array of cultural and biological diversity, Colombia’s unique species and indigenous people face great threats. Extractive industries such as oil, mining and logging continue to degrade and fragment ecosystems. Now, we are seeking opportunities for partnerships with regional governments and local conservation groups to preserve these irreplaceable cultures and ecosystems.
In July, two members of our NCI-Ecuador team, Felipe Serrano and Fabián Rodas, attended the Congress for Protected Areas in Bogotá, Colombia. In Felipe’s words:
“Thirty five million acres of natural areas have been prioritized by scientists and the Colombian government to ensure the conservation of the biodiversity in this mega-diverse country. Any initiative that can help Colombians meet this goal is urgent, and even better if these protected areas contribute to peace in this wonderful country. NCI’s support can be very timely and determining.”