Native Species Enrichment and Reforestation in the Colombian Andes

in The Man Cave2 years ago

It was my immense pleasure to accompany the distinguished team from Selva this Thursday, as part of their project 'Creando un paisaje Sosenible para dos especies de aves endemicas en amenaza: Leptotila Conoveri y Atlapletes Flaviceps.

By propogating native species of flora, as well as the knowledge of the uses and identification of these plants, Selva and their partner The American Bird Conservancy, hope to influence more than just the two species of bird named in the title of their project. Under their 'Umbrella Strategy', much more of the native biodiversity should benefit from these efforts.


We arrived on foot shortly before the owner of the site, Don Antonio and the Dr. of Ecology Sergio came carrying the baskets of young sapling trees from the town in his flatbed truck. Don Antonio immediately began pulling ferns as seen in the picture above.

After the trees were unloaded, discussions were had about where to put them. As per the project guidelines, the trees would be placed in areas to maximize their usefullness, such as diversifying edges, erosion control, nitrogen fixing or shade. The range of goods and services provided by the more than 50 native species now in Selva's inventory makes it easier to make decisions with the land owners on how to enrich the local biological corridor in ways that will also be beneficial to them and their families.


Some grasses had to be cut down, but several main fencing sections were identified and confirmed by all stake holders involved. The team got right to work, and the land manager's nephew Oscar also stayed with the group to help dig holes and plant the trees.

At one point the discussion arose about us 'planting weeds'. The explanation of each good plant and their uses was continued throughout the day. Several of the species of native plants had been planted by these land users before, including Inga Edulis a.k.a. 'Ice Cream Bean' and Trichantea gigantea or 'Madre de agua'.


@ecoinstante was onsite all day, carrying trees up and down the fence line. I valiently brought the heroes lemonade from the kitchen, who provided lunches to all involved in the days labor.

Reforestation of Native Species in Colombia Libano Tolima finca el Pensar.jpg

As a sociologist interested in and dedicated to sustainable development, this project actively underway shows how different regional stakeholders can come together to align their interests in ways that can achieve multiple goals at the same time.

The native biodiversity speaks for itself in terms of uses, fixing nitrogen, humidity, erosion, providing food, fruits and medicines, fire wood, posts and handles as well as the temperature control regulation of the shade and photosynthesis engaged. The endless variety of native birds are so grateful that they will come and eat insects and fertilize almost anywhere that is not actively being poisoned.


Enriching and connecting the biological corridors along these elegant and important chain of mountains - this is a worthy mission that everyone can be proud to be a part of. It is no wonder then that the neighbors of the participants in this first round of plantings are contacting the coordinators to see how they can get involved.

More updates to come, I think they will let me continue to tag along if I write articles about the good work!


love this post, you're doing awesome work adn that's some really gorgeous land , just got in myself from our "farm" and got a few lb.s of beans , Yukon Golds and squash out. Great photography and initiative.

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One thing you look... and that is happy! That's for sure :)