Nature-based solutions mitigate social inequality in Colombia

In addition to closing the inequality gap, nature-based solutions are an effective instrument to prevent deforestation and incentivize green businesses.

June 19, 2020. Historically, ethnic communities have been protectors of their territories, 32% of rural lands in Colombia are in their custody, according to the Agustín Codazzi Geographical Institute (IGAC), however, these groups are the most vulnerable in the face of climatic events, economic crises and corruption.

For years, the absence of formal work, quality education and access to public and health services has been evident in this population. Deforestation is added to this situation, another challenge for the country. According to official IDEAM figures, in 2018 deforestation in the country reached 197,159 hectares, with the Amazon being the most affected region with 138,176 hectares.

“To avoid deforestation, economic incentives for conservation must be increasing. Our job at BIOFIX is to ensure climate finance for forest stewards, forest rangers and green businesses that guarantee the continuity and sustainability of forest cover in the country ”, said Ana Milena Plata, Executive Director of BIOFIX, in the panel: Carbon Market Business Briefs & Analyst Roundtable Latin America & South Africa, organized by IETA, the International Emissions Trading Association.

Since 2018, BIOFIX has worked with communities on nature-based solutions, which allow obtaining an economic benefit for ethnic groups, reducing the inequality gap, encouraging the creation of green businesses in rural areas of the country, and avoiding deforestation.

In this process, the voluntary carbon market has played a fundamental role. This enables companies with higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions to offset their carbon footprint, apply to the non-causation of the carbon tax and contribute to the development of ethnic communities.

“Carbon credits represent a significant source of climate finance. Through the sale of carbon credits, the collective councils and indigenous reservations receive resources to: strengthen their governance, design and implement green businesses, monitor deforestation and reforestation, and facilitate access to improved housing and health ”, adds the Director of BIOFIX.

With projects financed through the commercialization of carbon credits, the empowerment of forest guardians can be achieved, in addition to stopping the felling and burning of forests, which will prevent climate change and reduce human exposure to new pandemics, reduce the spread of diseases that come from the tropical forest and, above all, will provide economic support to indigenous and Afro-Colombian families, thus reducing social inequality in Colombia.

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