The forestry project designed to restore the Chinchiná River watershed is an environmental, productive and social alternative for the region. Also known as PROCUENCA-FAO, it was conceived in 2001 by INFIMANIZALES on the basis of the 'Environmental Management Plan for the Chinchina River watershed' prepared by the regional environmental authority, CORPOCALDAS, considering the Clean Development Mechanism as a co-financing source. The Institute for Financing, Promotion and Development of Manizales, INFIMANIZALES, is the organizational and promotional entity of the project.
In June 2001 an agreement for unilateral cooperation was signed between INFIMANIZALES and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations- FAO, establishing the CDM as a key co-financing source (FAO 2001). The FAO affords cooperation in specific programs, provides technical assistance, and offers the fiduciary administration of financial resources, on the basis of its world-wide experience in the handling of similar projects.
The primary objective of this project is to regulate and improve the quantity and quality of fresh water for the region's communities by restoring the watersheds that supply their water systems, each duly identified as part of the Chinchiná River watershed restoration program. The program's activities involve ecological restoration through assisted natural regeneration and reforestation. The forest species included in the project are: Alnus acuminata, Tectona grandis, Gmelina arborea, Cordia alliodora, Quercus humboldtii, Cedrela Montana, Juglans neotropica, Aniba perutilis, Podocarpus oleifolius, Pinus patula, Pinus tecunumanii, Eucalyptus grandis, Cupressus lusitanica and Fraxinus chinensis. The species used for the assisted natural regeneration system come from the natural forests within the project boundary. Most species selected for the project are supported by the Ministry of Agriculture's forestry programs (CIF, Law 139 of 1994).
According to the lists presented by Global Invasive Species Database of the IUCN and the document '100 of the most damaging invasive exotic species in the world' (Lowe et al. 2004), the species proposed for planting in the project are not considered as of an invasive nature (Invasive Alien Species -IAS-). Similarly, no genetically modified tree specimens will be used (Genetically Modified Organisms-GMO-).
The Procuenca project is supported by the participation of a strong institutional framework and the many economic actors who stand to benefit from it, all working to strengthen the sustainable uses of the ecosystems and their forest resources. Both the Congress of the Republic of Colombia (2004) and the Ministry of the Environment recognize the usefulness of reforestation activities to restore river basins and degraded ecosystems (Ministry of the Environment 1998; Black et al. 2003). The human populations and principal economic and productive activities in Manizales and the surrounding municipalities are supported by water supplies provided by the Chinchiná River watershed.
In the tropical Andes, reforestation of the watersheds is critical to improve the regulation of the hydraulic flows of importance to the populations living in and downstream from the river basins. Over the course of the last century, Colombia's Andean watersheds have been threatened by uncontrolled deforestation due to rapid expansion of agriculture and cattle grazing. Because the region is dominated by the Nevado del Ruiz tropical glacier, which has lost more than 36% of its ice cap since 1970 due to global warming, local populations are acutely aware of the importance of mitigating atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to slow climate change and the potential impact on water supplies if the Ruiz Glacier is lost. In addition to improving the regulation of fresh water supplies, the Procuenca project seeks to slow erosion of the rich volcanic soils, mitigate the sedimentation of rivers, lakes and seas, promote the increase of biodiversity, improve the connectivity of strategic ecosystems and capture large quantities of atmospheric CO2.
In order to measure and document the changes in biodiversity promoted by changing land use from cattle pastures and monoculture coffee to the sustainable forestry models of the project, Conservation International Colombia and the Proaves Foundation designed biodiversity monitoring methodologies and indicators to be simultaneously implemented along with the carbon sequestration monitoring program. The results of the biodiversity changes will be presented at each verification in parallel to the carbon monitoring process (Proaves 2007). Thus, buyers of tCER's from the PROCUENCA project will be acquiring compliance-ready credits from the UNFCCC complemented by quantified and verified results that demonstrate the increase in biological diversity brought about by the project activity from changing land use from cattle and coffee to forestry, in this biodiversity hotspot of the Colombian Andes.
The Association of Agroforestry Producers - AGROFORESTAL - was organized to facilitate participation of the landowners in project decision-making, and to control the marketing of tCERs and forestry products. The social purpose of this entity is to contribute to the sustainability of the environment starting from the integration of the owners and the farming community in the area of influence of the Chinchiná River, involving agroforestry producers in order to improve productivity, competitiveness, quality, transformation and marketing of forest production. The direction, administration and surveillance of Agroforestal are entrusted to a General Assembly of Associates, a Board of Directors, an Executive Director, a Statutory Auditor and Auxiliary Committees of the Board of Directors.Project activities consist of the establishment of forestry activities throughout the watershed, with several models that land owners select from, including agroforestry, commercial stands, silvo-pastoral models, mixed forest systems, and assisted natural regeneration, in an area of 4,538.7 hectares in its first phase. Project activities are developed in areas whose uses have been and will continue to be, in the absence of this CDM project, traditional extensive cattle grazing and coffee (Coffea arabica) cultivation, mainly in unshaded monoculture with 'green revolution' arrangements.
Since 2001, the Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, the NDACDM for Colombia, included the project in the country's CDM portfolio and has been accompanying its application process to the CDM. Following the adoption of the Marrakech Accords and the COP9 decisions related to A/R CDM, PROCUENCA-FAO conducted a complete pre-feasibility study for the application of the CDM in the areas of interest of the project (Black et al. 2003). Based on the results of the CDM Pre-feasibility study and the emergence of approved methodologies, it became feasible to formulate the CDM project, and this was directed by the Centro Andino para la Economia en el Medio Ambiente CAEMA.
Instituto de Fomento, Promoción y Desarrollo de Manizales (INFIMANIZALES); Asociación de Productores Forestales (AGROFORESTAL)
Afforestation or Reforestation
Forest/Land Cover Type:
Tenure and Use Rights:
Sources of Deforestation:
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
TUV-SUD (CDM Validation)
Seeking Additional Support:
Total Credits Sold:
Total Credits Retired: