Recovery of Wetlands in San Miguel del Tigre Colombia

A clear lake above which tree branches hang into the picture. In the background is blue sky with clouds.

Country: Colombia
Organisation: Fundación Con Vida
Support area: Conserving biological diversity
BMU funding: 99,170 €
Project start: 01/09/2021
Project end: 31/12/2022
Website: fconvida.org

The swamps of the Magdalena River are habitats for many species of birds, fish, and mammals. They regulate the hydrological cycle, control flooding, and form biological corridors. However, they are subject to an accelerated process of environmental degradation. Among others, the Antillean manatee, one of the mammals in the area, is threatened with extinction.
The IKI Small Grants project aims to raise awareness, educate, and work with artisan farmers in the region to ecologically restore the El Tigre and El Totumo swamps. It wants to reduce the degradation and loss of connectivity between the manatee, jaguar and puma biological corridors, by implementing ecosystem clean-up days and conducting outreach and environmental education. The project aims to restore and/or maintain aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, promote the welfare and survival of local wildlife, and improve communal water management.

INITIAL SITUATION

The Magdalena River swamps are threatened by an accelerated process of environmental degradation and pollution with sewage and solid waste, which makes it difficult to establish agricultural crops. Normally, the swamps regulate the hydrological cycle, dampen and control floods and form biological corridors where many species live. Due to environmental degradation, the connectivity of the ecological corridors of the manatee, jaguar and puma in the wetlands has been lost, threatening the species with extinction.

The regional communities live on traditional economic activities, such as livestock, fishing and work in the oil industry. In many cases, these activities are not sufficient to generate enough income to families and do not allow for adequate care of nature. Furthermore, rural inhabitants do not have enough access to information, trainings, or technologies to make sustainable economic use of the biodiversity resources.

TARGET GROUP

The project targets farmers and artisanal fishermen from the San Miguel del Tigre (municipality of Yondó). 70 families from the Fishermen’s and Agroambiental Association and 2 environmental groups, to ecologically restore the swamps and wetlands.

APPROACH AND ACTIVITIES

The project conserves and restores wetlands, which improve water regulation and reduce destructive impacts on strategic ecosystems such as forests and marshes that make up the habitat of the Manatee, Puma and Jaguar. It empowers the target groups to help increasing the vegetation cover, stop the subsistence of agricultural frontiers, maintain or improve water resources, and stop or reduce the erosive processes caused by the degradation of ecosystems. The project also improves fishing activities, which has a direct positive impact for local fishermen and the local economy. It uses a participatory approach for ecological restoration of the ecosystems. The target groups are engaged in evaluating the current situation of biodiversity in the region and in cleaning swamps and planting indigenous trees and shrubs.

Project activities include:
Farmers training in sustainable livestock and agricultural practices. This includes knowledge to avoid negative impacts generated by the extension of the agricultural and livestock borders towards the water mirrors of the area

  • Instruction, training and strengthening watch groups for monitoring and controlling the natural state of the ecosystem
  • Performing maintenance and cleaning work in defined places
  • Conversion of plant waste into compost
  • Analysis of the state of deforestation and desiccation in the area and the definition of grounds and zones for reforestation
  • Native trees and species are planted with the support of voluntary community work.

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

IKI Small Grants supports Fundación Con Vida in their organisational capacity development through context-tailored trainings in monitoring and evaluation, as well as an English language course focusing on proposal writing.

ABOUT THE ORGANISATION

Fundación Con Vida is an environmental organisation with focus on social issues, biodiversity and knowledge dissemination. It has 25 years of experience in Colombia. Fundación Con Vida puts a focus on sustainability and is dedicated to generating social value through sustainable uses of natural resources.