ASOARCE recently received a grant for its innovative method of applying scientific and technological knowledge in the recovery of the Andean forest of the Paramo de Guerrero. The grant was awarded by the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Colciencias) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through its Small Grants Programme (SGP).
The SGP provides access to funding for social and community-based organizations so they can enhance their management capacities. Launched in 1992 with 33 participating countries, the SGP currently assists 125 countries.
The SGP focuses on five areas: biodiversity, climate change, international waters, soil degradation, and organic pollutants. ASOARCE (Asociación de Productores Agroecológicos del Pantano de Arce) caught the attention of Colciencias and GEF in the category of biodiversity and ecosystems protection.
Five reasons why GEF awarded ASOARCE
The Paramo de Guerrero is an ecosystem located in the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia. The paramo has a direct relationship with Bogotá because it supplies water to the capital and nearby municipalities. But current conomic activities of people living there have decimated the paramo. Seventy percent of its land has deteriorated due to bad agricultural practices, intensive grazing, and indiscriminate mining, so protecting the paramo is a priority for the residents and the government. For the past four years, ASOARCE’s farmers have been restoring the deteriorated soil of their farms and the deforested lands of the Andean forests.
The GEF awarded the association for the following reasons