Forest First Colombia is committed to protecting and, as possible, improving the biodiversity of the region.
Our operations are located in Vichada on degraded grassland. The local practice of burning thousands of hectares of savanna at a time for cattle farming has had devastating impacts on local wildlife. More broadly, across the country as a whole, deforestation is posing a massive threat to biodiversity.
We believe our operations have the potential to help mitigate these threats. At scale, our operations can help reduce logging pressures on Colombia’s primary forests. And we are helping to change the local land management practices (less burning) and conserving areas linked to sensitive biodiversity. We have begun to see antelope, puma and birdlife moving into our plantation areas, which suggest that may offer viable new ecosystems for many species, although more research needs to be done.
Indeed, we have a strong desire to establish a research centre to thoroughly and independently assess the impact our plantations are having on biodiversity, and are actively seeking partners for this effort.
Discussions are also taking place with the Humboldt Foundation and The Nature Foundation in regard to working with private landowners to create transit corridors for the movement of jaguars.
But even considering all of the above, our current plantation area of 360km2 (36,000ha) makes up less than 0.01% of the total Llanos ecoregion in Vichada. The total projected area of Forest First Colombia will be 1,500km2 (150,000 ha), therefore, the total impact of Forest First Colombia’s operations on the ecoregion as a whole is minimal.