Participatory planning for sustainable development
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Compensation for environmental services and climate change

Ecosystems provide services and benefits to society: hydrological regulation, water quality and availability, carbon sequestration, oxygen production, soil formation, erosion control, nutrient cycling, among others are the very basis for life on earth. Forests play a key role in generating environmental services to mankind. Compensation or payment for environmental services benefit stakeholders – communities or individuals – that are committed to sustainably manage their natural resources, e.g. their forest resources.

Los servicios ecosistémicos son los beneficios que se obtienen de los ecosistemas en los bosques.  Es así como las comunidades tienen acceso a regulación hidrológica, mantenimiento de la calidad de agua, captura de CO2, producción de oxigeno, formación de suelos, control de erosión, reciclaje de nutrientes, hábitat de especies de fauna y flora, esparcimiento, ecoturismo, madera, leña, alimentos, medicinas, fibras, entre otros.

Los proyectos de Compensación buscan, como su nombre lo indica, compensar o generar recursos y excedentes para aquellas comunidades comprometidas con la sostenibilidad ambiental de sus bosques y con el cambio climático.
  ¿What does Payment for Environmental Services (PES) mean?

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¿What is happening with the Guarinó river watershed?

The Guarinó river watershed is of strategic importance for water provision for the rural and urban population of the towns of La Dorada (pop. 90.000), Manzanares, Marulanda, La Victoria, Marquetalia, Herveo, Mariquita, Fresno and Honda. Its hydric potential also allows for electricity generation for the Andean region of Colombia.

At present, non-sustainable production practices such as extensive cattle breeding and mono-cropping lead to deforestation, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity and pollution. It is a common feature to see rural communities with low income adding stress to natural resources, often because of lack of alternatives, and/ or limited knowledge of more sustainable practices. As a result, the watershed faces substantial threats to sustained ecological processes and equilibrium.

Basic information about the project

The project seeks to improve simultaneously livelihoods and ecosystem health in the Guarino Watershed, departments Caldas and Tolima in Central Colombia. To leverage resources for the PES scheme, carbon finance was identified as a promising approach.

Several institutions joined forces to achieve this goal: Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura – IICA, Corporación Aldea Global, Corpocaldas as the environmental authority, IDEA Universidad Nacional (through IDEA) Ecopetrol and Gobernación de Caldas. The Finnish Government provided financial resources for the project “Payment for the ecosystem services for the sustainable forest management of the Guarinó River Watershed, in the departments of Caldas and Tolima”. A wide range of stakeholders learned to cooperate and advanced in the design of a PES scheme based on the preservation of natural forests, and the sustainable management of agroforestry systems, and secondary forests.

<a href=”” title=”Compensación por servicios ambientales – cuenca del río Guarinó”>Learn more about this project ></a>

  Forest Bonds
Marsella, Risaralda
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¿What are Forest Bonds?

Companies causing negative environmental impacts pay to compensate for these external effects. The funds serve to finance compensatory reforestation activities. These activities address the expected and observed impacts of climate change through adaptation measures.


¿What is the purpose of this project?

To support recovery of areas that are key to the environmental services such as carbon sequestration, soil conservation, biodiversity and hydrological regulation of the San Francisco River watershed. The project focuses on the town of Marsella, department of Risaralda with the following set of activities:

  • Awareness raising and Training  for farmers on climate change topics
  • Establishment and maintenance of tree plantations with dominantly protective functions
  • Demarcation of these protective plantations
  • Field visits and environmental education.

The tree saplings and plants are produced by local communities in the San Francisco watershed which were trained in tree nursery management through an earlier inter-institutional project under the guidance of Corporacion Aldea Global.

Its implementation is possible thanks to the economic support from the Presidents of the Republic Office, through Corporación Escuela Galán, and with the valuable support from Marsella’s  SMP (sociedad de mejoras públicas de Marcella) and the municipality.

  Café Carbono
Protective and productive plantations
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An alternative for sustainable agroforestry development for the Quindío department.

¿What is Café Carbono?

In the Colombian heartland of coffee production, natural forests have been displaced decades ago by intensive coffee farming. Today, most remaining patches of natural forests are found in remote and mountainous areas that suffer in some cases from the internal armed conflict.

This project proposes the creation of carbon credits for the establishment of new tree plantations with productive and protective purposes, and of agroforestry systems which sequester and store carbon on the lands of small and medium sized coffee farms. Beneficiaries are the coffee farmers and their families.

How the Project is being managed


The project started with a baseline identifying and quantifying interested land owners and available lands for reforestation purposes, calculation of potential amounts of carbon credits over time, and the design of a mechanism for validation, registration and marketing of Verified Emission Reductions (VER) according to internationally recognized standards (PLAN VIVO), under the UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism.

At present, Corporacion Aldea Global is looking for support for final consolidation of the institutional and technological platform which will allow to eventually marketing the VER’s.

Participating institution and companies


From start the Project has had the support of organizations such as Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Costa Rica’s CATIE,  the Environmental Authority and the government of the Quindío department.

Corporación Aldea Global

Manizales, Colombia
+57 3176435546
+57 3164828859,
Manizales, Colombia
+57 3176435546
+57 3164828859,
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