Delfines Cupica REDD+, a social and environmental project

This project is one of the most outstanding in Colombia in relation to the conservation and compensation of the carbon footprint, which aims to protect 103,022 hectares of tropical rain forests in the department of Chocó.

Delfines Cupica REDD+ is carried out in the collective territories of the Costa Pacifica Norte del Chocó Community Councils 'Los Delfines' and Cupica and seeks to favor the environment but also their communities.

Eladio Díaz, president of the Cupica Community Council, tells what some of the projects that have been carried out in the territory are.

“Thanks to the Delfines Cupica REDD+ project, we have made progress in our community, because we have worked on several projects. We started with the socioeconomic characterization project, where some needs were made known by the community and the census was also updated,” says Eladio.

After this first step, there are more projects that the community has developed, within the established lines of action, and that have helped improve their quality of life.

Projects aimed at education and health

"Important agreements were reached with the municipal administration for the improvement and maintenance of schools and health centers," says Eladio.

And, for educational issues, photocopiers were allocated for the school and it was established that with the resources of the project, 100% of the tuition of students who are in universities or higher education will be paid.

"There are 30 students who are studying and who are being supported so that they are trained and then come to build and create new opportunities for the community."

Infrastructure is key to a good quality of life

Not only has it been invested in something as important as education and health, but the resources have also served to improve the infrastructure of the Community Council. For example, the purchase of two vehicles was made; dump trucks and backhoe.

"This is going to help us to improve the streets, the trails and the construction of a place for the final display of solid waste." In addition, a construction of 100 linear meters of the road to the port of embarkation and disembarkation was made.

A budget was also earmarked for the cable TV antenna, which is the one that transmits television to the entire community of Cupica, and public lighting was improved, since the lamps had burnt out bulbs due to lack of maintenance and did not generate clarity. enough.

“The streets remained in complete darkness. We have managed to meet that need, our streets are well lit, a transformer had been damaged and we have also been able to buy them. This is something positive for our community and for our inhabitants.”

Delfines Cupica REDD+ has met the needs created by Covid-19

For critical times of pandemic, food bonuses were provided to all inhabitants on two occasions to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

“The first bonus was when the pandemic just started, which was very difficult for the communities. Then the issue of the pandemic and added to this the blockade that prevented food from being taken to the different communities from Buenaventura by boat. There was a shortage and the need arose to generate another food voucher so that the communities could meet their needs.”

In addition, there is an economic subsidy for older adults and for people with some type of disability. "Because there are people in our community who cannot do work and cannot participate in activities, but they have been given financial aid."

Strengthening of the Community Council

For the proper functioning of the Council, it is important that they have the necessary equipment to be able to carry out their activities. It has been possible to acquire equipment such as a printer, computer, television, video beam, drones and identification clothing. All this has allowed them to consolidate their work and, for example, help with a project they have in the future about planting vanilla.

“The idea is not only to focus on construction but also to leave projects that can generate better living conditions for the community and that in the future the inhabitants can have a source of income and employment, which will serve them for their personal growth.

And, according to the results of the characterization project, a social team was hired, "we have two social workers and a psychologist who have been carrying out work to strengthen the family and other needs that arose."

Reforestation! Important for the preservation of forests

With Delfines Cupica REDD+, a reforestation project was carried out in Bahía Cupica, where 17,000 plants were planted and in which the Cupica Community Council community participated. Maintenance has also been carried out on the aqueduct, cleaning of water sources and mangroves.

“Right now we are organizing a project for a second phase of reforestation that will be done with the community. In addition, all of this generates a positive impact on the environment and helps the inhabitants to meet their needs, but at the same time we are growing as a family, as a community and as a territory.”

Green business and biodiversity conservation

REDD+ projects also seek to promote entrepreneurship in green businesses that benefit the community and in which the flora and fauna of the territories can be protected.

In this case, given the food needs, the community implemented a food security project in family gardens.

“It turns out that we have so much land and so much wealth, but sometimes we do not use it well, so we have been suffering from food needs such as plantains and bananas that are strong in our territory. So, since everyone has land, we decided to allocate resources to plant again.”

Wire was also provided to the community, to control the cattle and not to harm the crops, and different economic support has been given to strengthen some businesses and to support family calamities.

Sometimes through small loans, which we manage internally, some people have been lent money to strengthen their entrepreneurship. In addition, when someone gets sick, they are helped with transportation to the municipality and if someone dies, they are helped for the wake, novena and for the purchase of the coffin.

Finally, it is important to highlight the project of forest rangers, where 30 people are participating, who are dedicating themselves to planting, reforestation and some tasks that have to do with going to the forest, collecting seeds and taking them to a nursery and then deposit it in the most affected places. "With those same ranger custodians we are also not giving the task of making trails that change the face of our community with fruit trees."

Eladio affirms that the Community Council is grateful for the Delfines Cupica REDD+ project:

"In general, the inhabitants of Cupica are very grateful to this project and to Biofix for the participation it has given us, and we hope to continue advancing in the construction of many more opportunities for Cupica and its inhabitants."

This project has received different recognitions, which has made it nationally recognized, and recently the CENIT company of the ECOPETROL group acquired carbon credits from this project, which made ICONTEC give it the carbon neutrality certification.

We hope that more companies are encouraged to support this type of project since BIOFIX executes 9 REDD+ projects in association with Afro and indigenous communities in Colombian territory, and as in Delfines Cupica REDD+, the other projects have also contributed significantly to improving quality of life of its inhabitants and to protect the forests.

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