Economic Feasibility of the Tribugá Port Project, Colombia

Located in the North Pacific coast of Colombia, the Chocó Department is one of the nation's most biodiverse areas. Along the coast is the Gulf of Tribugá, which contains more than 900 hectares, or around 20% of remaining mangroves in Colombia. Humpback whales and sea turtles are also often found along the coast, making the gulf a rising tourism destination. As early as 1989, local actors have discussed constructing a deep water port in the Gulf of Tribugá in order to improve connectivity with the Pacific region. Recently, the publication of the 2018-2022 Colombian National Development Plan (NDP) indicates that lawmakers are heavily considering moving forward with this port project soon. 

While financial and legal feasibility studies on building the port and a connecting road have been evaluated by local actors, the potential economic impact is unknown. Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) is conducting an analysis to determine the economic feasibility of both projects, the proposed Tribugá Port project and the connecting road- Las Ánimas - Nuquí.

In the case of the port, the study will focus on the impacts to tourism and fishing activity within the region, which are both likely to be affected most. CSF will also quantify the expected environmental and social impacts of the port, including the loss of mangrove trees, forests, marine corridors, and nesting areas, identifying the variety of environmental services they provide. In the case of the road, CSF will conduct a cost-benefit analysis using the Roads Economic Decision (RED) Model, which includes comparing investment and maintenance costs to the expected reduction in transport costs.

By providing a comprehensive economic analysis on the Tribugá Port, CSF can inform policymakers and other key stakeholders about the impact of the proposed project before it is built. If the project is eventually built, our findings can also advise both the port’s construction and operation, providing a model for sustainable infrastructure development and protecting biodiversity throughout the region.

This project is funded by Porticus.

Photo: Chocó, Colombia
Photo Credit: oscar garces/ Shutterstock.com