REDD+ projects, in addition to seeking to reduce emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation, have the objective of making effective lines of action identified by the communities, which are mostly related to strengthening governance, health, education, infrastructure and green business.
In recent years, the social and environmental impact that REDD+ projects have brought to collective territories in Colombia has been evident. Its leverage in the carbon market and in the commercialization of carbon credits to offset the environmental footprint have allowed more communities to receive financial resources to execute initiatives that meet their needs.
In the work carried out by BIOFIX Consulting, a company specialized in the development of Nature-Based Solutions, today close to 50,000 people are benefited thanks to the activities of 10 REDD+ projects located mainly in Vichada, Guainía, Guaviare, Chocó, Cauca and Cauca's Valley. By 2022, with the management of BIOFIX, a total direct transfer has been made to the communities for more than USD$19 million*; resources aimed at investing in lines of action related to institutional strengthening and governance, health, education and infrastructure, monitoring programs and participatory reforestation, green businesses and protection of biodiversity, among others.
Education, an indispensable factor
In their life and ethno-development plans, the communities classify academic training on their list of priorities, not only in terms of infrastructure for study classrooms, but also in the provision of material, teacher training, and valuable content that allow them to strengthen their basic knowledge. By 2022, more than 6,000 community members have benefited from training programs and 1,377 people have had access to basic and higher education.
Governance, equity and more than 1,000 jobs
Institutional and government strengthening in communities has been another of the investment objectives of REDD+ projects. "One of the main benefits of REDD+ projects is the conservation of forests and the administrative strengthening of indigenous reservations to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants," says Esaú Ramírez, legal representative of the Morichal Viejo indigenous reservation, Santa Rosa , Cerro Cocuy and others and leader of the YAAWI IIPANA REDD+ project.
Institutional and government strengthening in communities has been another of the investment objectives of REDD+ projects. "One of the main benefits of REDD+ projects is the conservation of forests and the administrative strengthening of indigenous reservations to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants," says Esaú Ramírez, legal representative of the Morichal Viejo indigenous reservation, Santa Rosa, Cerro Cocuy and others and leader of the YAAWI IIPANA REDD+ project.
"Thanks to the conservation of our forests we have received benefits such as the aqueduct, the communication point, the provision of the indigenous guard, markets and solar panels, which thanks to them we have light in our houses," says Carlos Gaitán Rodríguez, Cabildo governor of the Concordia indigenous reservation, proponent community of the Kaliawiri REDD+ project.
On the other hand, the promotion of women's equality in their territories has been promoted with the activities of the projects to strengthen their participation, demanding their inclusion in education and training activities. “I feel proud to be leading this project because I can contribute to solving problems in my community. I invite the new generations to empower themselves and commit to caring for our natural resources”, says Felipa Murillo, legal representative of the Los Marlín Community Council in Juradó, and leader of the Cocoman Frontera REDD+ project, in Chocó.
Currently, the 16 Indigenous Reservations and 9 Community Councils, BIOFIX partners, work together for the conservation of 1,300.00 hectares that correspond to tropical humid forest and areas of the mangrove ecosystem. As a result, it has been possible to certify the reduction of 17.4 million tons of carbon dioxide, a milestone that has made it possible to ensure financial income for communities through the sale of credits or carbon bonds. “We work with and for ethnic communities.
Our objective is to promote fair and equitable climate financing that is evidenced in the improvement of the living conditions of families that work for the forests. In this process, the carbon market has played a fundamental role with the commercialization of carbon credits”, says Ana Milena Plata, Manager of BIOFIX.