REDD + projects and the identity of the territories

The communities' vision of their social and environmental surroundings is key to determining the focus and naming of REDD + projects developed in the territory. Representatives of Afro-descendant and indigenous families speak about the reason for the names assigned to the conservation projects led by their community.

Endangered species, cultural history and names of community councils are some of the inspirations to determine the appointment of REDD + projects (Reduction of Emissions Generated by Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in the communities that protect the territories.

By 2021, BIOFIX works in association with more than 24 communities, including Afro-descendants and indigenous people, which actively participate in defining the projects' lines of action, as well as assigning a name that projects their identity.

What do the names of the REDD + projects structured by BIOFIX mean?


It is the second largest project structured by BIOFIX, which aims to protect 103,022 hectares of tropical rainforest forests in the extreme north of the Department of Chocó.

Its name was defined in homage to the families that make up the community councils of Cupica and North Pacific Coast of Chocó, Los Delfines, located in Bahía Solano and Juradó, Chocó, respectively, that make up this important conservation project.

Jhuver Antonio González Rivera, president and legal representative of the North Pacific Coast Community Council of Chocó, Los Delfines, says that this name was given in honor of the association of the two major councils in the area: Delfines and Cupica.

"The name Dolphins refers to the dolphins of the Colombian Chocó and seeks to recognize the herd work carried out by these mammals," says González, alluding to the joint work of the families in these townships.


“We decided to give this project that name because it is the unification of two community councils: the Juradó Community Council and the Novita Cocoman Greater Community Council. These councils came together to have a greater scope in their work and decided to give it this name COCOMAN FRONTERA, because the Juradó community council is located on the border with Panama, that is why we wanted to call it that ”, says Tulio Antonio Hurtado president and representative of the Novita Cocoman Greater Community Council.

For Tulio Antonio this project is very important because it allows them to improve their quality of life and live in the middle of nature. “How good it is to live with a healthy environment under the shelter of nature! And to give other people a chance to live with this amount of forest that we are conserving ”.

COCOMAN FRONTERA REDD+ seeks to protect 133,637 hectares of forests in Chocó, together with the Boards of Directors of the Greater Community Councils of Juradó “LOS MARLIN”, and the Greater Community Council of Novita - COCOMAN.

You may also be interested in: Indigenous peoples, key actors in forest conservation in Colombia


What is the story behind this name? Ramón León León, governor council of the Río Siare-Barranco Lindo reservation and member of the KALIAWIRI REDD + project, says that KALIAWIRI means tree of life. According to the story, all the fruits or foods came from this tree.

This project is carried out in the departments of Guainía and Vichada and seeks to guarantee the conservation of the 450,000 hectares of rainforest forests owned by their communities.


“In the indigenous Sikuani Piapoco worldview, PALAMEKU is a creator god of the tools to be able to work the tree of life. He was the one who made the ax, which is the symbol of all tools. And KUWEI means: creator god of the land, water and the entire worldview of the Sikuani Piapoco ”, says Mónica Vallejo Gaitán, an indigenous person from the Río Muco and Guarojo reservation of the La Libertad community.

PALAMEKU KUWEI REDD + is located in the municipality of Cumaribo, in the department of Vichada, and its objective is to ensure that 32,667 hectares of its territories, which include savanna and morichales forests, are conserved.


Saúl Castro González de la comunidad Cerro Cocuy del Resguardo Morichal Viejo y miembro del proyecto YAAWI IIPANA REDD+, explica que este nombre significa: La casa del jaguar.

"We wanted to name the project because in our shelter the tiger is in danger of extinction and we want to protect it, in the same way that the tiger protects its territory."

YAAWI IIPANA REDD + protects 253,406 hectares of dense forests in the Amazon region and seeks to minimize the impact generated by deforestation and forest degradation.


Servelio Rentería, member of the ARLEQUÍN REDD + project and legal representative of the Lloró council, says that the name of the project is in honor of the Harlequin frog:

“It is a species that is in danger of extinction due to the clearing of forests. For this reason, protecting forests is the best way to prevent the disappearance of the Harlequin frog ”.

ARLEQUIN REDD + is located in the municipalities of Cantón de San Pablo, Lloró and Cértegui, located in the Chocó Biogeographic Zone. This project protects 75,000 hectares of tropical humid forests and seeks to minimize the impact that their communities generate due to deforestation or forest degradation.


“The word BANAKALE, in the indigenous tradition in the Sikuani people, means the variety of seeds that today we find in the herds and in the orchards, and it bases the traditional Sikuani diet. It is the basis of food security for the indigenous people and for the survival of the Sikuani ethical groups ”, says Olegario bonilla Ordoñez, who belongs to the BANAKALE REDD + project, of the Santa Teresita del Tuparro reservation.

This project aims to protect 61,678 hectares of the forests of the Santa Teresita del Tuparro and La Llanura Indigenous Reservations. In addition, it seeks to ensure environmental sustainability and mitigate the threats posed by the main agents and drivers of deforestation.


Felipe Sanclemente, legal representative of the community council Las Cuencas del Río Naya affirms that:

"The NAYA REDD + project means for the community the responsible management of natural resources and the claim of the river's name."

This project is carried out in the river basin of the Naya River, which is located in the vicinity of the Department of Cauca and Valle. In this territory and with this project it is sought to protect 62,715 hectares of very humid tropical forest.

The REED + projects (Reduction of Deforestation and Forest Degradation), seek to contribute to the reduction of Greenhouse Gases, as well as combat poverty and inequality in the regions where they are located, all this in the hands of the communities.

You may also be interested in: How forest owners and custodians benefit from REDD + projects

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