Our story

For eleven years, dreams, knowledge and commitments have added up to consolidate the Community REDD+ Portfolio in the Biogeographic Chocó.

A portfolio that thrills us from Acandí to Tumaco has been possible thanks to the commitment and work of the Mutatá Indigenous Council and the 19 Community Councils that are part of the 9 REDD+ projects: Bajo Mira y Frontera, ACAPA, Cajambre, Bajo Calima, La Plata-Bahía Málaga, Concosta, Sivirú, Usaragá, Pizarro, Piliza, ACABA, Río Pepé, Montaño, Vigía de Curvaradó-Santa Rosa del Limón, Domingodó, Apartadó- Buena Vista, Chicao, La Madre and Cocomasur.

During this journey, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) set a learning path that served as a compass for guiding the strengthening process with communities. Their committed work and the resources invested were crucial in shaping the Community REDD+ Portfolio into what it is now. Its management and accompaniment with Fondo Acción continued until 2018 through the Connected Landscapes program, leaving significant advances that paved the way for great achievements and results.

Fondo Acción joined efforts, abilities and resources to boost the project’s objectives, strengthening communication and trust with each of the participating communities, understanding the dynamics of their territories to generate real actions aligned with their contexts, culture and traditions.

In 2019, the Sustainable Colombia Fund and its donors, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank, joined this journey of commitments, learning and challenges, with the conviction that working with the communities of the Pacific could build viable territories.

Each of these actors has played an important role in this story with the goal of extending it in time and promoting it as a sustainable option for the families of the Colombian Pacific.

Here we narrate what the process has been like and the present the most important facts. We invite you to learn more about this story by clicking on the following sections:

Rivers, banks and coastline

To give voice to the forest, to listen to its desires, to ease its pain, and to fall in love with its vastness.

The Biogeographic Chocó embraces the majesty of the mangroves, the counsel of the ancestors, the intense green of the forests that links it to the memory and history of the territories and their inhabitants. There, Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities bring knowledge of the forests, traditions and culture to life.

Closing your eyes in this place is all that’s needed to feel the heart connecting to the land, to mountains full of wildlife and rivers that join geographies and flow into a biodiverse Chocó, full of embracing and captivating natural wealth.

This region, where bodies sway to the sound of marimbas, drums and cununos, is the birthplace of the REDD+ Community portfolio: nineteen Afro-Colombian Community Councils and one Indigenous Senior Council that fuel nine REDD+ projects. This portfolio has witnessed the collective power of women and men, guardians of the forest, who have learned to explore, get to know and understand their territory in order to deal with multiple legal and illegal forces that endanger forest conservation and people’s wellbeing.

“We seek to preserve a decent life for the newborns, not only our children,but those of all the flora and fauna of the Biogeographic Chocó”.

Bernardo Orobio, REDD+ Node Buenaventura Coordinator.

The irrational use of resources, such as timber and minerals, highlighted the need to invest in alternative activities aligned with the use of non-timber resources and crops, which could additionally provide productive means for people to remain in their territories and contribute to climate change mitigation.

Respect for life became part of the conversation during this first stage. At its core, the project is a reflection of this: it aims to protect the rights of communities and species to inhabit safe environments that guarantee their wellbeing.

This is how this story begins, with REDD+ emerging as an alternative for sustainable forest management in the Biogeographic Chocó.