On November 18th in Bogotá, the "Financial Sustainability of the National System of Protected Areas in Colombia" Forum was held. This event was convened by National Parks of Colombia and was sponsored by UNDP - BIOFIN Colombia, GEF / SINAP, the IDB, WWF Colombia and Natural Heritage.
The objective of the Forum was to exchange concepts and opinions that would identify the causes that explain the current situation of the financial sustainability of the National System of Protected Areas - SINAP, in order to propose concrete actions and appropriate mechanisms that enable the financing of the system, the efficient use and monitoring of resources since the formulation of the national SINAP policy.
It was attended by the National Planning Department, Fund for the financing of the agricultural sector - Finagro, Fondo Acción, Invemar, KFW, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Terrasos, Transforma, United States Agency for International Development - USAID, and others.
The forum was structured to know from the global to the local level, the different modalities and mechanisms of financing protected areas. Some of its relevant conclusions were:
- Protected areas have the power to contribute to resilience against threats, including especially climate change.
- Several international research has shown that having adequate financing is one of the most important indicators for the effectiveness of protected areas.
- The greater efforts of the different actors have been focused on increasing resources for conservation than on reducing the negative impacts that industry generates.
- It is necessary to diversify the sources of financing of the sector, however, the government should be the main financier as the protected areas are public goods.
- Colombia has been acquiring ambitious commitments in terms of biodiversity and climate change, which can be achieved as long as the benefits generated by protected areas for these issues are exploited.
As a closing activity of the day, a workshop was held to collect the contributions of the attendees for the construction of the financial strategy of the national SINAP policy. The workshop was structured to answer the following questions:
- How to improve the efficiency of current SINAP financing instruments?
- How to generate new financing instruments for SINAP?
- How to analyze the efficiency of financial resources for protected areas?
The support material of the Forum is available here.