Fundación ProAves – por la conservación en el país de las aves

ProAves & Conservation International Join Forces with Environmental Agencies to Strengthen Protections for 27 Natural Reserves

4 July, 2023


CORTOLIMA Initiates the Process to Declare ProAves’ Andean Parrots Reserve as a Regional Natural Park

A groundbreaking memorandum of understanding will strengthen the protection of the 27 Natural Reserves established by ProAves. This new memorandum marks the first steps towards increasing conservation protections under Colombia’s Autonomous Regional Corporation for Sustainable Development. Efforts are underway to expand regional environmental protections to 15 of the nature reserves, as well as four more that are only partially protected.

“This incredible alliance between ASOCARS, ProAves, and Conservation International represents an important achievement for biodiversity conservation in Colombia, especially for the endangered species that inhabit ProAves’ Reserves. Through this joint effort, we will achieve our dream of ensuring the perpetual protection of the Reserves and the conservation of our country’s biodiversity,” stated Sara Inés Lara, Executive Director of ProAves.

On June 30th, the regional environmental agency CORTOLIMA hosted the signing of the memorandum, which will achieve its first milestone by initiating the process to declare ProAves’ Andean Parrots Reserve (Reserva Loros Andinos) as a Regional Natural Park. Spanning a majestic 5,840 hectares, this living paradise for endangered parrots will soon claim its rightful place in the realm of protected wonders.

We have taken the first step by signing a memorandum of understanding with ProAves to declare the ‘Andean Parrots’ reserve as a Regional Natural Park. Through this agreement, we will protect the ecosystem of this reserve located in Roncesvalles, Tolima, which is the habitat of the Yellow-eared Parrot and many species of flora and fauna,” stated Olga Lucía Alfonso, Director of CORTOLIMA.

Fabio Arjona, Director of Conservation International, praised this milestone: “With a stroke of a pen, 27 reserves in the most important conservation sites for birds in Colombia will be incorporated into the Regional System of Protected Areas. It is a milestone in the history of conservation in Colombia. By adopting these reserves, the agencies not only contribute to achieving their protected area goals but also safeguard them from threats.”

This transformative memorandum is more than just a pact; it is a catalyst for change, igniting a flame of collaboration among community actors, civil society organizations, and passionate individuals. Together, we will develop visionary plans and projects, ensuring the preservation of critical ecosystems while generating sustainable economic alternatives that uplift lives and foster a dignified existence for communities buffering these biodiversity hotspots.

This memorandum builds upon the ‘Alliance of Autonomous Regional Corporations and Sustainable Development for Protected Areas of Colombia,’ which sprouted to life in Nuquí last March, uniting the directors of the country’s 33 regional agencies. Now, we are implementing the process to declare public protected areas within ProAves’ Natural Reserves and other areas,” said Ramón Leal Leal, Executive Director of ASOCARS, the entity guaranteeing the alliance.

It is worth noting that on Global Big Day, which took place on May 13, 2023, Colombia achieved first place for bird sightings, with 1,532 bird species recorded. ProAves had three reserves among the top-ranking sites in this important count, making it an essential ally for flora and fauna conservation.

The coordination of the memorandum is led by the Corporation delegated to the National Council of Protected Areas, CORPOGUAVIO, along with delegates from Conservation International, ProAves, and ASOCARS.

Marcos Manuel Urquijo Collazos, General Director of CORPOGUAVIO, expressed, “The collaborative efforts towards the conservation of the country’s ecosystems are fortified with the signing of this memorandum. This accomplishment serves as a model for fostering collaboration between both the public and private sectors, in the pursuit of our national conservation objectives.