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Forest restoration has international and national political support, including the UN Decade of Restoration 2021-2030 and the government of Colombia has declared an ambitious target to restore 1 million hectares of forest by 2035. Currently, there is no publicly available coordinated effort to monitor progress towards this target, nor an effort to monitor the success of implemented restoration projects, in Colombia. To address this gap, we initiated a project to collect up-to-date information on restoration projects in Colombia. We initiated the collection of information by reviewing technical reports, books and articles on project implementation, meeting with public and private stakeholders, and generating a public online survey for data collection. We also addressed two major sources of information: the Electronic Public Procurement System (SECOP) and the database of the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA). We also reviewed databases of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute and the Colombian Network of Ecological Restoration where we highlighted the monitoring works that have been published in congresses and symposiums in recent years. More than 500 restoration projects have been entered into the database, 68% from the public sector and 32% from the private sector. Of these projects, only 15% show that they have carried out some type of monitoring. The province with the highest number of projects is Norandina with 60%, followed by Caribe with 15%. The database compilation process highlights multiple challenges in tracking progress towards restoration goals. Some important databases of restoration projects, which should be publicly available, were not accessible even after repeated requests to the relevant agencies. Another key problem is that many restoration projects do not report their precise location, making it impossible to track project success. The next steps for this database are to add spatial information to as many projects as possible, invite more contributions to the database from relevant agencies, and work to make the database openly available online for public use. The database will provide excellent opportunities for research on land use change and forest restoration success in Colombia.

Keywords:

management, environmental compensation, goals, evaluation and monitoring

Natalia Peña, Mauricio Aguilar-Garavito, Paola Isaacs, Eleanor Warren-Thomas

Presentation within symposium:

S-35 "Forest restoration in Colombia to benefit biodiversity and people: who, how and where?

Monitoring forest restoration progress in Colombia: Creating a database of public and private projects

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