Protected Areas legislation and the conservation of the Colombian Orinoco basin natural ecosystems

Ana M. Aldana, Jonathan Mitchley

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Colombia has shown a strong commitment to the achievement of the CBDs biodiversity target, by promoting the conservation of at least 10% of its natural ecosystems. Protected Area categories in Colombia are undergoing a standardization process that should enhance the countrýs capacity to protect its natural ecosystems. In this study we use a spatial analysis to examine how the legislation and the civil societýs initiatives help in the conservation of natural ecosystems in the Colombian Orinoco Basin. We found that differentiation in use restriction legislation limits the conservation potential of some Protected Area categories. The only fully Protected Areas in Colombia are the Natural National Parks System Areas, which protect only 10% of the area of natural ecosystems and less than 50% of the natural ecosystems in the Colombian Orinoco Basin. Indigenous Reserves help significantly in the conservation of the natural ecosystems in the Colombian Orinoco Basin, but are not a Protected Area category, making it difficult for indigenous groups to aid in the accomplishment of conservation goals in Colombia. A small percentage of ecosystems of the Colombian Orinoco Basin fall outside of any Protected Area or Indigenous Reserve and urgent actions may be needed to protect them. Future similar studies should use current and updated information on Protected Areas and take into account changes in land cover, for a better understanding of the role of different categories of Protected Areas in the achievement of conservation objectives in Colombia.Copyright Ana M. Aldana, Jonathan Mitchley.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalNature Conservation
StatePublished - Feb 27 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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