Biodiversity is resilience.
Diversity is strength.
Colombia is one of the Earth's mega-diverse countries: home to 14 percent of the planet's biodiversity, with 35,000 higher plant species, 467 mammals, 1,768 birds, 609 amphibians and 475 reptile species. The Andes is the country's most diverse ecosystem, followed by the Amazon and Chocó regions.
This diversity is under threat. Every year Colombia loses 200,000 hectares of rainforest. The explosive expansion of cattle ranching, mining and infrastructure places unrelenting pressure on tropical rainforests, while the pool of agricultural genetic diversity continues to shrink. Seeds engineered and owned exclusively by multinational corporations are supplanting natural, diverse seed supplies.
Colombia's history of armed conflict has complicated the relationship between rural and urban areas in the last decades and posed additional threats to biodiversity and natural resources. The prospect of a peace treaty between major guerrilla organizations and the Government of Colombia, to be signed in 2016, gives the project additional relevance since its implementation will take place during a time of reconciliation and peace building. By integrating areas and regions characterized by decades of armed conflict the project contributes to bringing together various regions of the country as well as strengthening mutual respect among urban and rural populations.