Conservation International and Fondo Acción Bring ‘Everyone Together’ to Protect Colombia’s Pacific Coast
December 18, 2017
BOGOTÁ, Colombia (Dec. 18, 2017) – Conservation International and Fondo Acción today announced the La Minga (Everyone Together) Fund, a conservation trust fund dedicated to community-driven conservation on Colombia’s Pacific Coast, where two networks of protected areas in the Bahía Málaga and Northern Chocó regions cover an area of pristine coastline larger than Belgium.
This land is home to over 30,000 people of primarily Afro-Colombian descent, as well as 1,400 species, including 80 percent of the region’s humpback whale breeding grounds, and some of the country’s most intact mangrove forests.
The La Minga Fund will initially focus on three regional protected areas: La Sierpe Regional Natural Park, La Plata Regional Integrated Management District and Golfo de Tribugá-Cabo Corrientes Regional Integrated Management District.
Conservation International and Fondo Acción have actively supported and contributed to the creation, development and strengthening of these protected areas over the last decade. To help secure ongoing protection of these invaluable natural resources, Conservation International and Fondo Acción worked with the following to develop the La Minga Fund: Colombia’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development; the regional environmental authorities of Codechocó and CVC; Asocars; and the Afro-Colombian community councils of Riscales, La Plata and Chucheros.
“These communities are already good stewards of their lands and willing partners,” said María Claudia Díazgranados Cadelo, Director of Marine and Community Incentives Programs for Conservation International Colombia. “Yet they lack the resources and management structure to counter threats to their way of life and the mounting pressures from illegal and predatory activities and conflict. With dedicated technical and financial assistance, these communities can better participate in the sustainable management of their resources for the benefit of all.”
“The La Minga Fund will enable us to capitalize on our strong partnerships and decades of experience in Colombia to accelerate our conservation actions along the Pacific coast and provide a needed model for Colombia, the region and hopefully the world to emulate,” said José Luis Gómez, Executive Director of Fondo Acción.
The principal donor to the La Minga Fund is the Walton Family Foundation, with additional contributions from Conservation International’s Global Conservation Fund and the Embassy of Sweden in Bogotá. The Fund includes a $2.5 million endowment and a sinking fund, which will help cover budgetary needs of the three locally managed marine protected areas (MPAs) and two national parks. Conservation International, Fondo Acción and partners are actively fundraising to reach a target of $5 million for the endowment fund within the next few years.
About Conservation International
Conservation International uses science, policy and partnerships to protect the nature people rely on for food, fresh water and livelihoods. Founded in 1987, Conservation International works in more than 30 countries on six continents to ensure a healthy, prosperous planet that supports us all. Learn more about Conservation International and its groundbreaking “Nature Is Speaking” campaign, and follow Conservation International’s work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Fondo Acción
Fondo Acción is a Colombian private non-profit that believes in the power and creativity of local communities to take advantage of opportunities and solve problems in the fields of conservation and rural sustainable development.
Fondo Acción was established in 2000 under the Bilateral Agreement for the Americas Initiative, the first debt for nature swap signed between the governments of Colombia and the United States of America. Fondo Acción currently manages twenty different accounts created by donors such as USAID, the World Bank, the French Agency for Development, GEF, UNDP, the Government of the United Kingdom (ICF), the Colombian Agency for International Cooperation, the World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy.