Caquetá is located in the south of Colombia and is one of six jurisdictions that together comprise the country’s Amazon Region. Colombia’s third largest Department, Caquetá is home to five national parks and a sizable Indigenous population, many of whose members live on lands (resguardos) administered by Indigenous authorities. Cattle ranching is the backbone of the local economy in Caquetá and is also responsible for much of the deforestation happening across the region. Rates of forest loss rose by as much as 160% between 2015-2017, in the years up to and following the signing of the peace accord in 2016, when rebel forces that once occupied the area disbanded. In their place, Caquetá experienced an influx of illicit activities from logging to coca cultivation that contribute to ongoing deforestation. Caquetá is a member of the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF)
Earth Innovation Institute’s strategy in Caquetá is focused on the reconversion of extensive cattle ranching lands into productive restoration systems centered on sustainable Amazon products, including; cacao, rubber, Amazonian fruits, and Amazon timber species. We promote integrated standing forest management, tourism and aquaculture as a way to incentivize rural populations to reduce deforestation, and increase forest cover and ecosystem connectivity. We are working in close collaboration with the Caquetá regional government and local stakeholders in the implementation of their Low Emissions Rural Development (LED-R) Strategy, which was completed and approved in 2019. And we are supporting the “Amazon Management and Planning Region” (RAP-Amazonía), a newly designated body that integrates four of Colombia’s Amazon Departments (Caquetá, Putumayo, Guaviare and Guainía) with the goal of advancing social, economic and sustainability goals region-wide.