Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. The country's fifty-nine protected areas are managed by Parques Nacionales de Colombia (PNNC) who hope to use Payments for Environmental Services (PES) to stimulate conservation and restoration of ecosystems. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, CSF provided capacity building and technical support to support PNNC in this endeavor.
From April 18th to 20th 2017, CSF held a course entitled "Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) and their Implementation in Protected Areas" in Bogotá, Colombia. The course provided the technical knowledge and the space for constructing PNNC’s vision and work agenda regarding PES and protected areas. More than forty officials from PNNC from different regions of Colombia participated in the course. The staff complemented their previous experience and expertise with the tools and knowledge that will enable them to participate in the process of implementing PES mechanisms in the country's protected areas. The course was also attended by international trainers and representatives of the main institutions working in the country on the PES theme including the Ministry of the Environment, the National Planning Office, Conservation International Colombia, CIRAD and BanCO2.
CSF also worked closely with PNNC to initiate a Pilot Project in Parque Farallones de Cali. This park provides the water consumed by 30% of the city of Cali, but the supply is endangered by mining activities in the Cali river basin. The PES project will try to address this issue by providing economic incentives to land dwellers to help secure the water supply. CSF worked alongside PNNC in the initial prospecting of the area and in the development of the manuals that will guide the mechanism, including a complementary quick guide document regarding the main considerations for PES mechanisms. The pilot project is expected to be launched by the end of 2017.