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:
The first verification of REDD+ projects was achieved in 2019, thanks to the implementation of governance initiatives, alternative production systems and forest Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification. As a result, carbon credits were issued for 7,055,091 tons of emission avoided, preventing the deforestation and degradation of 13,154 hectares of forest.
Once the carbon credits were in place, the question was: who would the buyers be? Searching for partnerships, opening lines of communication and understanding market dynamics required effort, patience and continuous work.
In 2016, the National Government introduced a carbon tax, Law 1819, which energized the Colombian market by gaining interest from companies. The tax demands paying a fee for the amount of carbon released as a result of liquid fossil fuel use. It also contemplated the possibility of avoiding said fee if the company proved the offset of all or part of the emissions.
This law became regulated under the Decree 926 of 2017, which stipulates that “carbon neutral” certification can only be attained through the offset of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by fossil fuel use, that is, a purchase of carbon credits corresponding to the generated emissions. Among the projects available for this scheme are those with proven reliable greenhouse gas mitigation results through accredited third-party verification. This includes REDD+ projects that meet established verification standards.
This new context made the sale of carbon certificates generated by Pacific Community REDD+ Portfolio possible in this market. Prodeco and Chevron were among the first buyers. They trusted the work and commitment of the communities, who were backed and accompanied by Fondo Acción. This began to strengthen a new bond of trust between communities and the private sector.