2020: Environmental Explorers in the Times of a Pandemic | WWF

2020: Environmental Explorers in the Times of a Pandemic

Posted on
22 diciembre 2020
While the world was paralyzed by Covid-19, threats in the Amazon remained dormant yet alive, and Chiribiquete Natural National Park and its surroundings were no exception. Therefore—after assessing all the risks and following a strict biosecurity protocol to prevent the spread of the virus and possible contagion—we made every effort to ensure that the groups of environmental explorers in Caquetá and San José del Guaviare could resume their activities.

This was made possible by a monitoring process in which groups of local leaders actively work to prevent deforestation and wildfires in the heart of the Colombian Amazon. The initiative is supported by WWF, the Amazon Vision program, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Seven groups of explorers were active this year: three in Caquetá and four in San José del Guaviare.

In addition to maintaining our permanent virtual assistance, we carried out training sessions on forest fire prevention with the Calamar fire brigade in the municipality of San José del Guaviare during the month of July, when the region prepares for the dry wildfire season. For local explorers, the trainings represented an opportunity to continue their work. For the fire brigade, the sessions provided a lifeguard against any contingency, since they usually take two hours to reach the roads where campesinos live and where forest fires usually occur at the end of the year.

In November, as a way to provide them with tools to strengthen their monitoring process and to tell their own stories of their territory, we held a virtual communications workshop focused on photography, video making, and podcasting. This training involved explorers and other community members as well.
The natural wealth of the Amazon is incredible. Thanks to these training sessions, explorers currently have communications tools to strengthen their monitoring and governance processes and to generate graphical inputs that are useful for decision-making around their territory.