Colombia Program

The nation of Colombia presents an enormous diversity of ecosystems and traditional societies, with a correspondingly large number of conservation opportunities. ACT’s work in the country thus employs multiple contextual strategies to protect biodiversity and strengthen indigenous culture in partnership with traditional communities.

Toward ecosystem protection, we have focused on the gradual formation of regional conservation and sustainable land use corridors, facilitated by the expansion of indigenous reserves, support for traditional agriculture and revised land zoning, and the establishment of novel categories of protected areas that provide for indigenous management and/or recognize locations of significant cultural importance. On the cultural end, we have met our indigenous colleagues’ desire for resources for intercultural youth education as well as support for associations of traditional healers, intergenerational knowledge transmission initiatives, and regional gatherings.

ACT Colombia Projects

Click the thumbnails or titles to learn about each project area.

Building Protections for Isolated Indigenous Communities and Their Lands

Indigenous Reserve Expansions as Conservation Measures

Propagating Traditional Education Models

Protected Area Establishment and Community-Led Management

Reduction of Deforestation through Land Use Planning

Support for Unions of Traditional Healers

Supporting Indigenous Governance

Sustainable Production in the Andean Amazon

ACT Colombia Map Tour

View our ACT Colombia Map Tour to learn more and see where our projects are located.

ACT Colombia News

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On September 21, 2017, in the company of indigenous leaders and ACT staff, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was honored at the National Geographic Society for his special leadership in environmental conservation and his commitment to the preservation of biodiversity.

Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Julian Lennon, musician, photographer, and founder of the White Feather Foundation hosts this special episode of Maps, Magic, and Medicine about the Kogi indigenous people of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Kogi community members discuss the importance of water, sacred sites, and protecting their ancestral territory and Julian Lennon reflects on the impact of his visit to the Kogi sacred sites and the lessons it imparted.

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2016

From November 24 to December 1, 2016 the Week of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta took place in the Museum of the Caribbean in Barranquilla, Colombia. The event was organized by The Amazon Conservation Team, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and the Caribbean Cultural Park, to raise awareness on the importance of this unique ecosystem and the rights of its indigenous peoples.

ACT Colombia Field Notes

By: Amazon Conservation Team
Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Imagine that you live in a rainforest many hours from the nearest city. You are very poor, and life is precarious. A parade of soldiers, drug dealers, gangsters, and fortune hunters comes through the village from time to time. They take what they want. You can’t stop them, and no one comes to help you. One day, a man from the government comes and hands you the keys to your land, and says, “Here’s the forest, here’s the river, here are the animals, the plants, the fruits, the fish, the birds, everything on it - it’s yours. It’s now your job to protect it and manage it. That’s what you wanted, right? Good luck!”
By: Liliana Madrigal
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018

"...This magical land of water and rainforests is a giant water factory, much threatened by reckless development which is poorly planned and badly executed. The indigenous people who make their home have cautioned about deforestation, against building a road that caused enormous damage, resulting in landslides that killed well over a thousand people. Despite repeated warnings that were ignored by “experts,”  on April 1, 2017, a disastrous avalanche destroyed much of the village Mocoa taking with it hundreds of lives mostly children and displacing thousands of families..."

By: Isidoro Hazbun
Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2016
With support from ACT, members of the Curare – Los Ingleses indigenous reserve participated in their second mapping/GPS training workshop, in order to strengthen the community’s conservation monitoring program that seeks to protect their territory and that of indigenous isolated peoples.