Rural communities and biodiversity are increasingly threatened by commercial development such as logging, mining, mono-crop agriculture and invasive tourism. The local people, have had the foresight to create and develop sustainable solutions to the series of environmental and socio-economic impacts that impoverish their forest ecosystems.
Community forest conservation forms the basis of this collective life-project, giving key special importance to social organisation, cultural identity and participatory investigation. Community leaders have been able to improve and enhance their skills and understanding of the local biodiversity, allowing them to monitor and control Andean forest degradation.
A community forest nature reserve in La Judía (Floridablanca), is protecting the existence of >275 species of birds, as well as being a refuge to endangered mammals (howling monkey, sloath, tigrillo, tinajo). The community has also identified 52 native plants with potential for sustainable local use (handicrafts, natural dyes, herbal medicines, packaging, ornamental), demonstrating the importance of conservation and knowledge recovery.