2020 Protected Areas and Peace

Posted on 22 diciembre 2020

We pay tribute to all the leaders who, in the most risky conditions, continue to fight for the defense of their territories and the country's enormous natural wealth and we insist on our call to the Government to take the necessary measures to guarantee their lives.
No one should die for what they do for life and the wellbeing of others. Unfortunately, this year was lethal for many of our leaders. In 2020 we received, with deep sadness, news about the death of many environmental defenders in different regions of the country, from the Awa territory in Nariño, to the Cocuy National Park. According   to the Global Witness report, Colombia was the most dangerous country in the world for defenders of land and nature in 2019, and the outcast did not improve this year.
We pay tribute to all the leaders who, despite facing the most adverse conditions, continue to fight for the defense of their territories and for the country's enormous natural wealth. We insist on our call to the government; it must take all the necessary measures to guarantee their lives. It is urgent to strengthen human rights and the safety of all as fundamental axes in the conservation of the country's mega-biodiversity. That is why we have insisted on the adoption and implementation of the Escazu Agreement. Fear, the violation of human rights, or death should not be the consequences of defending life.
WWF continues its work to help create spaces for the wellbeing and coexistence of communities. This year, for example, we made progress in the Protected Areas and Peace process, an initiative in which we work with local organizations and different partners to contribute to the consolidation of peace and the conservation of biodiversity in some national natural parks and their surroundings in the municipalities of Guaviare, Meta, Caquetá, and Cundinamarca.
We had the opportunity to speak with various institutional and community stakeholders to reach agreements and establish a roadmap for the effective implementation of this process. Additionally, as part of the conservation and ecological restoration project for transformed ecosystems in Sierra de la Macarena National Natural Park, we began working with the 50 families who will benefit from and participate in the restoration of 150 hectares of deforested land by implementing different activities permitted within the park’s boundaries.
Next year we will continue working to strengthen our efforts to consolidate peace and conservation, providing tools that involve communities in the conservation of their territories and improve their living conditions.
Chiribiquete National Natural Park
© Luis Barreto