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Development planning after the Peace Process

Central Magdalena Valley, Colombia

Geographically, the central Magdalena Valley connects two of the most important areas of Colombia; the Caribbean coastal ports, and the financial centres of Bogotá and Medillin. During the conflict that gripped Colombia for several decades, the Central Magdalena Valley landscape was 'out of bounds' for the authorities and most people, apart from those who had been born and brought up there.

The Peace Process is a huge step forward for the development of the country in many ways. There is, however, the real risk that 'uncontrolled' development could impact on the sustainability of the landscape's natural resources.

Landscape Conservation is working with a number of the stakeholders working and/or living in the region and feeding into a wider landscape planning process so that decisions can be made based on up to date information.

 
a landscape for people and wildlife

The Magdalena Medio is full of promise: for improved infrastructure, rural development, private sector enterprises, and as an ecotourist destination bar none.

The challenge is to find the right balance of protection, development and mitigation.

Working with all the major stakeholders and leading an alliance of NGOs, Landscape Conservation is using its skills to help key decision-makers in their planning.

 
illegal gold mining in Serrania de San Lucas, Bolivar

The Serrania de San Lucas has long been identified as a critical habitat for wildlife, containing species such as mountain tapir, brown spider monkeys, white footed tamarin, blue-billed curassow and many others. Nearby runs the Rio Magdalena, home to pink dolphins, Caribbean manatees and Magdalena striped catfish. Unfortunately, the lure of gold is proving costly to the area. Illeagl extraction using mercury and cyanide means that the rivers are fast becoming polluted, making them dangerous to the many people who depend on the river for drinking and cooking.