Afternoon in the Paramo de Chingaza, Parque Natural Chingaza, Cundinamarca department, Colombia. Photo: Conserva Aves/ Fredy Gómez.

Conserva Aves Hits the Ground Running in Colombia

Fifteen organizations invited to submit full proposals for the protection of 55,000 hectares of prime habitat for birds and biodiversity.

Led by the American Bird Conservancy, National Audubon Society, BirdLife International, and the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Environmental Funds (RedLAC), Conserva Aves is an innovative and audacious initiative for effective nature conservation, climate resilience, and sustainable development. By catalyzing and streamlining the creation and sustainable management of at least 2 million hectares of new subnational protected areas in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries, this initiative aims to fill critical gaps in the protection of globally and nationally threatened bird species and declining hemi-spheric migrants. Sites that will be protected contain prime habitats not only for birds but also for overall biodiversity. Conserva Aves is a concrete step towards supporting countries in accomplishing their commitment to the 30×30 conservation target just endorsed at COP15 in Montreal, Canada.

After 18 months of meticulous planning, the initiative’s first call for proposals was issued by Fondo Acción, the RedLAC member and Conserva Aves implementing partner in Colombia, in October 2022. Thirty-five concept notes were received and reviewed by a team of experts from Fondo Acción, Audubon, BirdLife, and Asociación Calidris, the Colombian BirdLife partner organization. Fifteen of these fulfilled all criteria, and applicants have been invited to submit full proposals.
Most concept notes were submitted by NGOs, but three applications were community-led initiatives.

Combined, these projects propose the creation of ten private reserves or reserve networks, two public protected areas and six long-term conservation initiatives on com-munal or indigenous lands also referred to as ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECMs) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Covering 55,000 hectares across 12 of Colombia’s 32 departments, these projects will offer protection for at least 37 globally threatened species – including two ‘critically endangered’ and seven ‘endangered’ species – and over two dozen declining North American migrants.

Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan. Photo: José Ferney Salgado.

Location of the 15 preselected projects in ColombiaPreselected applicants have until January 29th, 2023, to submit their full proposals. Guidance and, when needed, proposal development training will be provided by Fondo Acción and Asociación Calidris. Final decisions for proposals that will be supported by Conserva Aves will be reached by March 10th, 2023.

Some concept notes that did not advance to the full proposal round held much promise, and an additional 11 concept notes were received after the November deadline. To give these applicants a second chance, and for new applicants, Fondo Acción will issue a second call for Colombian proposals during the first quarter of 2023. In addition, up-coming calls for proposals in Peru and Bolivia are also scheduled for the first quarter of 2023 and for Ecuador, in the second quarter of 2023.

Location of the 15 preselected projects in Colombia

Structuring of the Conserva Aves initiative was kindly supported by the Wyss Foun-dation, Ben Olewine, Chuck Bragg, Charles Dunn, and an anonymous donor. Imple-mentation of the initiative in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador is possible thanks to the generous support received from the Bezos Earth Fund as well as a funding commitment by the Andes Amazon Fund.

“The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”

Sebastian Herzog
Conserva Aves Strategy Coordinator.

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