A win for biodiversity! Fundación Biodiversa Colombia’s proposed land purchase of Rancho Verde has been funded by an external organization.
TiME has agreed to a revised application to purchase the adjacent land — Galilea — to further expand El Silencio Nature Reserve and protect Colombia’s lowland biodiversity.
Status of registration
Fundación Biodiversa Colombia (FBC) is registered as a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization (NGO) at the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá (La Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá) in Colombia.
Governance and management structure of the group
The foundation is run by our president (Fernando Arbeláez), who reports to a board of directors composed of nine people. Management decisions are made at this level. There are also three administrative staff, including our forest guard, and 11 associated researchers who are involved in various projects. All, except administrative staff, are volunteers. Every year an external auditor verifies our annual financial report and accounting and certifies that it complies with Colombian regulations. We are also under the supervision of the Department of Legal Entities of the City Hall of Bogotá, to which we report annually. We provide periodic and detailed technical and financial reports to our donors.
Exact location, including geographic coordinates
N 06°48’12.81″ W 074°12’14.23″ Our private reserve, El Silencio Natural Reserve and Research Station, and the neighbouring farms we aim to purchase are located in the Barbacoas District Management Reserve in the Yondó Municipality, Antioquia, Colombia. We are based in the lowlands of the Middle Magdalena Valley (MMV).
Short description of the area and the land to be purchase
The 61-hectare portion of Galilea we wish to purchase includes: 1) two very well-preserved forest patches (11.5 ha and 18.4 ha) in the south, where we have recorded the presence of many animals, including the Critically Endangered Blue-billed curassow; 2) a secondary forest to the north (6.5 ha); 3) a 30-meter corridor of grasslands to connect the forest patches; and 4) an isolated grassland to the east to restore and protect the wetlands. The southern forest patch is adjacent to the northern forest of our reserve, El Silencio, and will connect to the larger forest of Rancho Verde that we recently acquired (labelled “First expansion World Land Trust” on map).
In addition, the acquisition of 61 hectares in Galilea will allow us in the future to connect to another very well-preserved, important but isolated forest patch further north. The landowners have agreed to FBC’s long-term plan to acquire this important part of their land. This opens a unique opportunity to safeguard and connect these forest patches, since partial land sales are highly unusual in the area.
The main threat to the area is deforestation for cattle rearing. Deforestation also causes the drying of wetlands, soil erosion and poorer water retention in the region after rainfall. In 2010 our studies suggested that at the ongoing deforestation rate, the remaining forests of Barbacoas would disappear by 2025. Despite our positive influence in the area, deforestation is still a major threat. It is therefore critical to ensure sufficient protected and connected habitat and to continue to strengthen our presence in the area.
Although the current landowner of Galilea has voluntarily preserved the remaining forest, there are no guarantees that future owners would be as ecologically aware. Most likely these forest patches would be transformed into pastures, destroying threatened and endemic local populations and biodiversity.
Estimated value ($) of a single hectare (average)
USD 1,852 (COP 5,000,000)