Did you know Colombia’s land is being protected by ordinary citizens? "Conservation start-ups: citizens protecting land and life in Colombia" tells the story of how over 40 years landowners have chosen to conserve their land instead of developing economic activities such as growing crops and fight against illegal activities. Their initiative led to the creation of a conservation regulation where landowners can decide to become a nature reserve. It is a solution for land and biodiversity conservation in a country where the government lacks the muscle to protect its land and ecosystems. The aim of the story is to highlight the efforts and actions of these extraordinary citizens, and to inspire other landowners to follow their example.
The following images are but a glimpse into one of the "Conservation start-ups", El Zoque, a high andean forest limiting the paramo in Guasca, Cundinamarca, Colombia. Its close proximity to Bogota makes it easily accessible, allowing schools to take day trips and learn about the environment first-hand, and scientists to visit for research. El Zoque is a community based reserve, working with local guides whose passion is conservation. They are able to to make a living doing what they love most, hiking the mountain and sharing their knowledge with visitors, whilst conserving their beloved Andean forest.
Please note this is a work in progress. The project will be completed if my application to the Level I grant is accepted. Otherwise, I do not have the financial muscle to continue telling the story on "Conservation start-ups: citizens protecting land and life in Colombia".