Over the next few years, we plan to nearly triple the territory we cover, extending from southern Colombia through Ecuador and Peru to Bolivia.
We are relying on you to join us as we fight to save the greatest treasure trove of life on Earth. By giving to NCI, you can help prevent irreparable damage to our environment, the extinction of exceptional species, and the disappearance of ancient cultures.
Over 300 different ecosystems are found in Colombia. It houses nearly 10% of the planet’s biodiversity on less than 1% of its land mass, and leads the world in a number of categories. For instance it is home to an astonishing 1,900 bird species – double that of the U.S. and more than any other country – making the conservation of Colombia’s ecosystems a global priority.
Colombia is also home to over 90 different indigenous groups, including the Wayuu who live in the desert of La Guajira and the Cofán Pueblo found in the foothills of the Amazon. Despite this miraculous array of cultural and biological diversity, Colombia’s unique species and indigenous people face threats from extractive industries such as oil, mining and illegal logging.
However, over half of the country’s forests are still intact, and the national government has mandated that each region create a system of protected areas. As peace takes hold after years of conflict, we see a major opportunity for conservation, and NCI and Colombia’s regional environmental authorities are seizing this opportunity together. To date we have established partnerships in Nariño and Antioquia to fund the creation of six protected areas spanning nearly 200,000 acres.
Located in the heart of South America, Bolivia boasts incredible biodiversity resulting from its variation in topography, ranging from high elevation cloud forests to low-lying dry forests and savannas. Bolivia is home to nearly 200 different ecosystems, which remain strongholds for iconic species such as the jaguar, spectacled bear, Andean condor and giant otter.
Bolivia is also known for its cultural diversity, with 33 indigenous groups. While in the past, traditional industries were once compatible with conservation, now extractive industries such as mining and timber are degrading the environment at a rapid pace. Deforestation has led to a decline in water quality as well as severe erosion, both of which threaten local people and infrastructure.
In 2014, we established an official partnership with the local NGO Natura Bolivia, a conservation organization that shares our ethic of working with local communities and municipal governments to create protected areas and promote sustainable development. In 2016, the 665,000 acre Heroes of the Chaco Historical and Wildlife Reserve was established. Now, we are working toward the creation of additional reserves that will link key areas through conservation corridors.