Putumayo is located in the southernmost part of Colombia, bordering Ecuador and Perú. It is one of six jurisdictions that make up Colombia’s Amazon Region. Putumayo’s economy is reliant on the mining sector, dating back to the 1960s when oil exploration began in the department, which spurred construction of major roads and the Trans-Andean Pipeline, connecting Putumayo to other parts of the country. The region has seen some of Colombia’s highest levels of illicit coca cultivation, another mainstay of the local economy and a contributor to deforestation. As in Caquetá, deforestation in Putumayo spiked after 2015, following the signing of the peace accord.
Earth Innovation Institute is working closely with the regional government of Putumayo, providing technical assistance on the development of its low-emission rural development (LED-R) strategy, a process that began in earnest in 2018. Putumayo is now incorporating LED-R concepts and practices into two key policies: a new Public Policy for Rural Development and an Integrated Management Plan for Climate Change. Both mark important steps toward enhancing economic well-being for residents while protecting local ecosystems. This process will also strengthen protections for Indigenous rights and security in line with the “Guiding Principles of Collaboration Between Subnational Governments and Indigenous Peoples/Local Communities”.