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PRESS RELEASE August 8, 2019

More Resources for Conservation and Sustainable Production in Orinoquia with World Bank Support


Orinoquia farmer in Colombia. ©World Bank Photo: Jessica Belmont

WASHINGTON, August 8th, 2019 - With the goal of promoting the production-conservation agenda in Colombia, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a USD 5.93 million donation today from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for the conservation of natural ecosystems, the restoration of ecological corridors and to improve the livelihoods of the population residing in the Orinoquia region.

The Sustainable Low-Carbon Development in Orinoquia Region Project, to be implemented in Arauca, Casanare, Meta and Vichada departments, will seek to ensure that wetlands and savannahs are represented in land management instruments and to promote the connectivity of regional biodiversity.

“We are pleased to see the designation of these GEF resources for the Orinoquia region, as it will help drive conservation initiatives in the protected areas, as well as rural savannas and wetlands,” said Ricardo Lozano, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development. “This will increase resilience and connectivity by helping with the provision of crucial ecosystem services, such as water, to guarantee agricultural production in the region.”

The implementation of the project will lead to direct and indirect benefits for both the planning and sustainable land and soil management-related institutions in Orinoquia, as well as the populations living in the project’s priority areas.

“We expect this operation to create better economic opportunities for these populations, through the sustainable use of biodiversity and the development of green businesses,” said Ulrich Zachau, World Bank Director for Colombia and Venezuela. “At the same time, public policy instruments will be created that will allow for a more efficient administration of natural resources in Orinoquia.”

Local, regional and national institutions will benefit directly from being able to access information to support land, sector and environmental planning. For their part, residents will benefit from a trend toward greater sustainability in the region and access to resources for conservation-production focused projects.

The project will be implemented by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Colombia) under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

Via this operation, the World Bank reiterates its commitment to continue supporting Colombia, along with international partners, in the development and conservation of Orinoquia in the coming years.

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Maria Clara Ucros
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