Páramos and Forests Activity
In Colombia, a country highly dependent on natural resources, climate change will have significant consequences. As the country consolidates a historic peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), it must also prepare for potential environmental deterioration as former combatants and displaced people resettle in rural areas. These challenges call for early action to reduce human, economic, and ecosystem vulnerability. The tropical forests of the Pacific Coast are among the most biodiverse in the world and the páramos (highland Andean wetlands and forests) are the source of 70 percent of the freshwater used by Colombians. Communities can be the best guarantors of these resources if they receive tangible benefits for their efforts through results-based conservation payments like reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) and water funds. The USAID Páramos and Forests Activity responds to these challenges and opportunities to make economic growth and sound environmental stewardship compatible goals in a post-conflict scenario.