Colombia: Antioquia Forest Observatory First Phase Outcomes

100% of the water available in the Aburrá Valley comes from Andean ecosystems. This is one of the indicators highlighted in the project.

On January 25th, the Antioquia Forest Observatory First Phase Outcomes were presented at the facilities of the La Salle Museum of Natural Sciences – ITM Boston in Medellin.

Within the framework of this event, the Antioquia Forest Observatory (OBA, after its Spanish acronym) presented the outcomes on the current state of the department’s forests through three tools: a) the OBA Virtual Platform, b) the book “Bosques Andinos: Estado actual y retos para su conservación en Antioquia” [Andean Forests: Current state and challenges for their conservation in Antioquia], and c) the exhibitionBosques de Antioquia: Riqueza y vida en cuenta regresiva [Forests of Antioquia: Wealth and life in countdown],” knowledge management tools, the result of the research processes of the past two years and whose main objective is to make the general public aware of the current state of the forests and provide reliable information for decision-making on the conservation of the territory.

The ceremony’s table of honor was composed of Diana Milena Arango, Director of the Botanical Garden of Medellín; Amalia Urrea Siegrist, Honorary Consul of Switzerland; María Victoria Mejía, ITM President; María del Pilar Restrepo, Deputy Director of Aburra Valley Metropolitan Area; Estela Quintero, OBA Work Team member; Ana Milena Joya, EPM Environmental Manager; Danny Urrego, ITM Museum Curator; and Albert Bokkestijn, Andean Forests Program Director. All of them shared the floor with government officials, executives, environmental authorities, scholarly authors of the book Bosques Andinos, and representatives of the Environment Department of Antioquia.

In his speech, Albert Bokkestijn said: “Information is important for decision-making and not only for the management of Andean forests in Colombia and the region, but for improving the quality of life of the population. Therefore, the Observatory’s information must reach citizens in both rural and urban areas.” (See video)


OBA Virtual Platform. It compiles the environmental information available from more than 30 national and international sources and gives an account of the current state of the Antioquia forests. This is achieved through the publication of different variables such as climate, carbon storage, and deforestation, among others. Its purpose is to serve as a tool for decision-making on the territory, as it allows the user to select any area within the department map and obtain a report on its environmental status. (Visit website)


Book “Bosques Andinos: Estado actual y retos para su conservación en Antioquia” [Andean Forests: Current state and challenges for their conservation in Antioquia]. Sixty-six authors were involved in the creation of this book, including scientists, taxonomists, ecologists, conservationists, urban planners, mathematicians, and representatives of more than 20 public, private, and national and international academic institutions.

The book contains studies that point to the importance of the Andean forests of Antioquia and of acting in favor of their conservation. It also gathers the opinions of representatives of institutions that have worked for their preservation. (See book)

Exhibition “Bosques de Antioquia: Riqueza y vida en cuenta regresiva” [Forests of Antioquia: Wealth and life in countdown]. The exhibition’s purpose is to make citizens aware of the strong connection between forests and human beings. By means of graphic pieces and a very clear language, it speaks of the past, present and future of these ecosystems, with emphasis on their imminent disappearance. Click on the following link to see the images presented in the exhibition.

Likewise, the event was a space conducive to learn about the tangible results of the Minutes of Specific Implementation No. 1 of the Framework Agreement 312 dated 2015, the purpose of which is to “join efforts through inter-institutional cooperation among the Metropolitan Area of the Aburrá Valley, Masbosques, the Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden, and Helvetas, within the framework of the Andean Forests Program, aimed at designing and promoting forest management activities in montane ecosystems.”

About the Antioquia Andean Forests
OBA emerges from the Andean Forests Program, which is part of the Global Programme Climate Change and Environment of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), facilitated by the consortium between Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and CONDESAN, and implement
ed in Antioquia through the Pact for the Forests and an inter-institutional agreement between the Botanical Garden of Medellin, the Masbosques Corporation, Empresas Públicas de Medellin, and the Aburra Valley Metropolitan Area.

Click on the following link to see the images of the event.

Related links:
Andean Forests, project sheet, Swiss Embassy, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Web Andean Forests Program
Video Andean Forests Program


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