The Community REDD+ Portfolio in the biogeographical Chocó region is composed of nine REDD+ projects verified by the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance (CCB) and the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). Nineteen ethnic communities in the biogeographical Chocó region have been working on these projects for 12 years, which include nine REDD+ projects that ensure the conservation of 710,000 hectares of tropical forest, improve the living conditions of 40,000 people in the communities, and contribute to fulfilling national climate change mitigation goals.
It is a program that promotes community governance and the sustainable management of the Colombian Pacific’s biodiversity.
These REDD+ projects revolutionized the communities that adopted them. Their greatest result has been to make sustainable development and environmental protection a viable economic option for the local population. An option that, contrary to extractive activities, will last as long as the forests are maintained. Support for the structuring and development of the portfolio has been given in the following stages.
Paisajes Conectados – The Pacific
As part of the REDD+ Portfolio, the Paisajes Conectados program – The Pacific was developed, which was made possible thanks to support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) between 2012 and 2018.
The program involved a $2.2 million dollar investment by USAID/Colombia to empower and strengthen civil society and local ethnic governments while advancing the establishment of alternative, profitable, and environmentally sustainable livelihoods.
After eight years working with the communities and with the firm conviction of creating possible territories, Fondo Acción created a figure known as fondeo, which consisted of making a loan to the community councils for respective verification. The value borrowed will be returned to Fondo Acción, without interest, by the communities from the sale of carbon credits.
Fondo Colombia Sostenible
Fondo Acción’s sign of confidence in the communities was supported by funding from the Sustainable Colombia Fund, administered by the IDB, which was formalized in December 2019. This marked the beginning of the REDD+ portfolio support project in the biogeographical Chocó region, which seeks to strengthen community forest governance, support sustainable value chains (coco, açaí, achiote, fishing, cocoa, tourism) and develop project monitoring, reporting, and verification as required by international standards.