Heritage Colombia: at the Climate Summit | WWF

Heritage Colombia: at the Climate Summit

Posted on
26 septiembre 2019
Bogota, September 26, 2019. Herencia Colombia (HECO) was presented at two events during the Climate Summit of the United Nations General Assembly held this week in New York City, as a commitment to address the changing climate through effective protection of priority natural habitats in Colombia.
It is no secret that protected areas are a fundamental strategy in the fight against climate change and the conservation of the most important biodiversity on the planet. They have been recognized worldwide for their role in fulfilling international agendas such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Protected areas and other conservation strategies foster resilience by helping to mitigate impacts during events of a changing climate, and by ensuring the provision of countless contributions to human well-being, as well as being the home for thousands of unique species and ecosystems.
That is why, in the framework of the Climate Summit this week in New York, in which about 55 Heads of State from around the world dialogued around climate change, Herencia Colombia played a special role. HECO aims to increase the coverage of protected areas in Colombia, consolidate and finance their effective management, improve governance and reduce deforestation in surrounding landscapes, by promoting climate-smart economic alternatives, in order to ensure the financial sustainability of National System of Protected Areas and other long-term conservation strategies.
“With the Herencia Colombia program, we want to position the enormous biodiversity of our country as our environmental and cultural legacy for present and future generations. And use this biodiversity as a Nature-Based Solution to address the fight against climate change” clained Ricardo Lozano, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia. 
Programs like Herencia Colombia, are being implemented in countries like Peru, through Patrimonio del Perú (PdP) initiative, launched earlier this year; in Costa Rica, through the Program Costa Rica por Siempre (PCRXS); and in Brazil through the Amazon Protected Areas Program (ARPA).
Herencia Colombia Program was part of the agenda of the “Concordia Annual Summit” and the “Nature's Climate Hub” events,  led by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, National Natural Parks of Colombia, WWF and WCS.
These events were attended by the Ministers of the Environment of Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru, the Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, Francisco Santos; Melissa Laverde, coordinator Heritage Colombia Program / Natural National Parks; Christian Samper, President and CEO of WCS; Avecita Chicchón, Program Director of the Andes-Amazonia Initiative of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; and Nik Sekhran, Director of Conservation at WWF United States. The event also had the support of the World Bank, and other strategic allies, and was attended by representatives of NGOs, private sector, and philanthropic foundations.
The Minister Lozano, called for support for Herencia Colombia as part of a New Deal for Nature and People, stating “By 2020 we must unite us to reverse the loss of nature and safeguard the future to everybody. Thank you for taking the time to come and learn about the efforts that Colombia is making to achieve sustainability.
On his side, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, affirmed “Herencia Colombia is the version 2.0 of the existing financing programs for permanence, such as Costa Rica por Siempre. The approach to integrated landscape management makes Colombia a world leader in the management of national systems of protected areas.”
The Minister of the Environment of Peru, Lucía Ruíz, highlighted the PdP, together with Herencia Colombia and ARPA, which contribute to preserving almost 80% of the Amazon, and together they can improve design and share best practices on sustainable financing of protected natural areas among countries.
Likewise, Ambassador Santos reiterated the support of the Embassy for fundraising and investment attraction to launch a financing strategy for the permanence of the program, for example through the development of ecotourism activities in areas that promote the sustainability of conservation landscapes.

More information about Herencia Colombia programme (HECO)
HECO was born with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding during Climate Change C OP 2015 in Paris, where the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Natural National Parks, Patrimonio Natural, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, International Conservation, WCS and WWF pledged to establish this permanency financing program (PFP).
Permanence financing programs (PFP) promote the leverage of public and private resources, as well as the creation and implementation of innovative financial mechanisms that strengthen the sustainability of protected area systems and other long-term conservation figures.
HECO  counts with the support of the GEF Heart of the Amazon project, the European Union, the World Bank, the IDB, Gordon and the Betty Moore Foundation, and it will mobilize other actors for the conservation of the natural and social capital of the country, and guarantee the multiple benefits that these areas generate for humanity, as well as spaces for inclusion and peacebuilding, where opportunities for well-being and human development are created.

What goals does the Herencia Colombia program have?
Increased protection of natural capital: By year 4, 3.5 million new hectares are incorporated into the National System of Protected Areas. By year 8, the functional level of management and operation of these new areas is ensured, contributing to the national and regional vision and goals of conservation, climate change and sustainable development.
Effective management of existing protected areas: In 10 years at least 14 million hectares of the National System of Protected Areas - SINAP will increase its levels of management and operation contributing to the achievement of effective management.
Landscape governance: In 16 years Colombia will have 9 conservation landscapes managed comprehensively and adaptively to contribute to the preservation of biological diversity and the use of ecosystem services for social welfare.

HECO contributes to the fulfilment of the following country commitments:
Aichi biodiversity targets:
Implementation of the Protected Areas System policy that includes: increased coverage, effective management and climate resilience and the sustainability of its financial system.
Sustainable Development Goals - 2030 Agenda: provide clean water, conserve oceans and underwater life, maintain the life of terrestrial ecosystems, reduce debt, among others.
Recognition of the value of natural capital and our protected areas to contribute to the social inclusion of a country that is moving towards peace
Actions were taken against Climate Change (NDC): protected areas as a natural solution to climate change, recovery, restoration and reduction of deforestation and changes in land use. Maintenance of key ecosystem militaries for adaptation (e.g. water resource).