Supporting associations

Preserving Colombia’s last dry forests

Implementing three projects involving agro-forestry, silvopastoralism and the search for economic alternatives to deforestation

Preserving Colombia’s last dry forests

Project leader
logo Envol Vert

Duration of the partnership
2018 -2026


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The project and its aims


Colombia is one of the most remarkable countries in the world in terms of biodiversity. However, this biodiversity is threatened by the pressure exerted by agriculture and livestock, leading to deforestation through tree cutting and burning. Along the Caribbean coast, the dry tropical forest, a unique habitat of the White-headed Titi Monkey, has nearly disappeared : only 8% of its original area remains today.

Since 2014, Envol Vert has been supporting peasant communities in three different departments in implementing agroforestry and silvopastoral systems. By introducing trees into their plots, including the “Maya Nut” tree, farmers benefit from the various services provided by trees (such as selling fruits, seeds, and leaves; preserving soil and water resources), in addition to reforesting and creating ecological corridors between plots. These plantations help reduce pressure on the remaining forests.

The project’s objective is to strengthen civil society by providing communities (local farmers, micro-local associations, women) with tools for managing their future.


Results of the project from 2018 to 2023:

The MDM Foundation supported Envol Vert’s actions from 2018 to 2023. The funds contributed notably assisted in :

1.Reducing deforestation of dry forests caused by agriculture and livestock, including:

  • Direct forest protection actions: 451 hectares of forests protected through conservation agreements and the creation of reforestation corridors between peasant plots, 1 protected area of 150 hectares, and 41 hectares of forests restored by communities.
  • Changing agricultural and livestock practices, with 238 hectares of agricultural plots converted to agroforestry and silvopastoral systems.
  • Training and awareness actions, benefiting 702 individuals with training, 1 awareness campaign to stop slash-and-burn practices destroying forests, and 56 awareness sessions for children.

2.Improving the quality of life for peasant communities through income-generating activities as alternatives to deforestation, including :

  • Crop diversification to reduce food expenses and 30 cooking and food transformation workshops.
  • Launch of 2 plant-based valeue chains Maya plant and hibiscus flower  and 2 honey value chains, with 11 products marketed under the Tamandua brand.
  • Creation and strengthening of 4 peasant associations.
  • 3 “Maya Nut” festivals and 1 “Join the Forest” festival organized.

3.Project capitalization and regional scaling, including:

  • Launching a capitalization platform “Ruta Agroforestal” to enable any actor to start a forest preservation project.
  • Supporting and financially assisting 2 local actors replicating Envol Vert’s methodology.
  • A capitalization document produced in collaboration with Impulso Verde and Forestever associations.


Objectives of the upcoming partnership phase from 2024-2026:

The MDM Foundation is renewing its support for the association for a third 3-year partnership cycle with the following objectives:

1. Ensuring the development of agroforestry, silvopastoralism, and forest restoration and conservation practices:

  • Training 250 people in agroforestry and silvopastoral systems.
    Increasing the number of agroforestry plots to 210 and silvopastoral plots to 135.
  • Preserving 90 hectares of forests through collective agreements or individual commitments.

2.Improving food security by promoting income-generating activities around forest products:

  • Diversifying 210 hectares of plots into agroforestry or silvopastoral systems and conducting 12 workshops for 250 participants.
  • Developing sustainable value chains and strengthening the Tamandua brand through marketing and commercialization training.
  • Building capacities of community associations.

3.Raising civil society awareness about ecosystem preservation:

  • Organizing 24 meetings to disseminate best practices to public and private stakeholders.
  • Conducting awareness activities for 360 young individuals.
  • Organization of the Sumate al Bosque Festival , raising awareness among over 24,000 people.

The beneficiaries

The project has enabled the training and direct support of over 300 individuals within 4 municipalities. The project beneficiaries consist of groups of small landless farmers, often victims of armed conflict.

Women are specifically supported in enhancing the value of forest products from their plots, and numerous awareness activities target children to discuss the importance of forest preservation.

Local public authorities are being sensitized to sustainable production methods. The restoration of the dry forest and its watercourses benefits residents throughout the region, as does the establishment of processing chains offering new local consumer products.

What makes the project special

The project is based on participative management and aims to create tools enabling the transfer of skills between Envol Vert and communities and between communities themselves.

Ultimately, the aim of the project is to develop a network along the Caribbean coast of small farmers trained in agro-forestry and the use of Non-Ligneous Forest Products (grains, natural plant extracts, oils, etc.). Positioning small farmers as drivers of knowledge and innovation means actively harnessing and making new use of small farmers’ skills and promoting a strong vision of their place and role in civil society.

Thanks to this organisation we can disseminate the technologies and values that are part of the Envol Vert project here. ASOCALIM is an incredible tool for us when it comes to meeting our obligations to nature.

Victor Olivares vice-president of the ASOCALIM small farmers association supported by Envol Vert
logo Envol Vert

Project leader Envol Vert

Envol Vert is an association created to protect forests and support rural development.

Since 2011, it has been working to preserve forests and biodiversity in South America and France, while creating strong links with local populations to promote their conservation initiatives, participate in sustainable rural development and cultivate economic alternatives to deforestation. Envol Vert is also heavily involved in raising awareness of these issues through education and impact campaigns.

Through the actions of the association, 163,000 trees have been planted in Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia and France.