Where do we work?
Protecting the most biodiverse places on the planet.
Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. In Colombia, Nature and Culture International supports conservation initiatives in the Andes, specifically the Central and Western mountain regions, the Chocoan-Pacific region, and the Orinoco region.
MUNICIPAL WATER SOURCES PROTECTED
INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL CULTURES SUPPORTED
What do we do?
Nature and Culture focuses on five complementary strategic areas to ensure that ecosystems can support current and future generations: Climate, Wild Places, Water, Species, and People.
In partnership with the Colombian Biodiversity Research Institute (Instituto Humboldt), Nature and Culture identifies and implements new protected areas to secure biological diversity and ecosystem services.
Climate change is the greatest threat to life on our planet. Deforestation and forest degradation are one of the main causes of climate change in the tropics. Nature and Culture International conserves forests and water resources that help local communities adapt to climate change. We mitigate climate change by reducing deforestation and ecosystem degradation which allows forests to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere.
Nature and Culture International has helped to protect 2 million acres in Colombia, guarding key biodiversity hotspots. We calculate that these protected native forests and other non-forest natural ecosystems, like Savannas and Páramos, store around 72 million tons of carbon.
Through the creation and management of new protected areas, Nature and Culture is working with regional environmental authorities and other organizations to consolidate two parallel natural corridors in the Colombian Pacific Region: the 280-mile Chocoan Coastal Corridor and the 155-mile High Andino-Pacific Corridor. Both of these corridors contribute to the protection of biodiversity and cultural values for the Afro-Colombian ethnic communities.
Seventy percent of Colombians depend on the Páramo for their water supply. Nature and Culture assists various regional environmental authorities in the management and protection of nearly 72,000 acres of this Andean ecosystem. We estimate that half a million people and 24 municipalities have benefited from this conservation strategy.
The Chocó Rainforest is the wettest region in the Americas. This extra humidity facilitates the growth of 100ft-high trees and supports a wide range of amphibians and provides important water sources to local communities. At Nature and Culture, we are helping Afro-Colombians to protect two main watersheds – the Atrato River and the San Juan River.
The endangered wax palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense) is the tallest palm in the world (up to 200ft) and in 1985, it was declared by the Colombian government the “national tree.” Nature and Culture is working to protect this tree and its surrounding landscape, including sustainable uses, research about the wax palm, and the creation of private reserves and a publicly protected area.
Aliwa Kupepe is the ancestral territory of the Sikuani Indigenous people and an area of both savannahs and natural forests. More than 30 million years ago, a meteorite crashed into this region, and within the crater grew a dense Amazonian forest, the largest found in the natural savannahs of the Colombian Orinoco region. These forests present unique biological characteristics and have unique cosmological importance for the Sikuani people.
Nature and Culture is helping more than 10 families in the Andes and the Orinoco region to register nearly 30,000 acres of private lands as local reserves and implement sustainable management plans. Threatened, endemic, and charismatic species all thrive in these areas, such as the wax palm (Ceroxylon quindiuense), parrots (Leptosittaca branickii ), Ognorhynchus icterotis ), pumas (Puma concolor), toucans (Ramphastos tucanus), alligators (Crocodylus intermedius), anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), among others.
Nature and Culture has supported the creation of a marine and coastal protected area in Chocó (the Encanto de los Manglares del Bajo Baudó), and is helping to create another one (the San Juan River Delta), which are key areas for the well-being and food security of Afro-Colombian ethnic communities. We’re working with these communities to promote sustainable and traditional fisheries, and to ban industrial fishing.
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Our local partners
Nature and Culture works in collaboration with the Colombian Biodiversity Research Institute (Instituto Humboldt) as well as universities, public and private institutions, communities, and local governments to protect biologically and culturally diverse landscapes. Our partners are fundamental to achieving our conservation objectives. We believe that conservation is only possible when working together with the people who live in the territories we aim to protect.
Our Team in Colombia
We have field experts specializing in conservation, monitoring, and evaluation who support communities, organizations, and local and national governments to protect biologically and culturally diverse landscapes.
Associate Researcher, Territorial Management of Biodiversity
Senior Latin American Communications Coordinator