Social and Economic Entrepreneurship For the Fight Against Deforestation


Latin America & Caribbean




Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)



In Colombia, 123,517 hectares of land were lost to deforestation in 2022, 78% of which occurred in the Colombian Amazon, according to data from the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP) and the Colombia Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development. The most acute impacts of deforestation are borne by national parks and indigenous reserves. According to IDEAM’s Forest Monitoring Group, the problem is perpetuated by the establishment of large-scale cattle pastures, land grabbing, and the cultivation of illicit crops.

ACDI/VOCA and Fundación ACDI/VOCA Latinoamérica (FAVLA) signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank to implement the project “Social and Economic Entrepreneurship with Sustainable for the Fight against Deforestation”, an initiative prioritized by the Sustainable Colombia Fund and aligned with the environmental agenda of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia.

The project arose from the need to counteract the causes of deforestation through community consultation processes and the promotion of entrepreneurship in areas of three of Colombia’s National Natural Parks (PNN): PNN Paramillo, PNN Catatumbo Barí and PNN Sierra Nevada Santa Marta.

Project Objectives

The Project will make it possible to co-create and implement agreements with the rural population in vulnerable conditions, who:

  • Inhabit protected areas, and/or use traditional practices associated with the rural/artisan economy in protected areas,
  • Derive their sustenance from these practices and
  • May be recognized by local entities as possessing an artisanal and traditional productive relationship with the protected area(s), and thereby may contribute to the resolution of the conflicts of use, occupation, and possession of lands that arise in these areas.

Project Activities

  • Socialization, awareness, and agreement with local communities on areas to work to stop deforestation and stabilize the agricultural frontier
  • Construction and implementation of agreements to use, order, and regulate productive activities in accordance with the conservation objectives and the living conditions of rural communities
  • Provision of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension services for sustainable small-scale production of agricultural commodities and livestock.

Anticipated Project Results

  • 928.5 hectares (ha) of small-scale farms under improved land management practices (302.9 ha under conservation, 22.4 ha under restoration, 298.4 ha under sustainable farming systems, and 305.8 ha under conventional production) in PNN Paramillo
  • 78.1 ha under agroforestry systems, between 8 communities and 2 indigenous reserves in PNN Catatumbo Barí
  • 3 joint work plans signed between institutional actors and local communities to reduce deforestation
  • 459 families developing sustainable alternatives to large-scale agricultural production
  • 28 commercialization agreements signed for sustainably-produced commodities, including peppers, eggs, yuca, banana, and cocoa.

Project Leadership

Project Specialist: Nick Okerlund