The Department of Caqueta is located in the Andean-Amazon confluence in the south-east of Colombia. Its geographical situation and colonization history have influenced not only its socio-economic development, but the strong deforestation of its tropical forest in recent years. Caquetá has existed as a departmental entity for only 36 years, and for this reason, its public management has been faced with major challenges such as the lack of experience of its leaders, high informality of its economy and a low level of public revenues necessary to carry out investments for its development. It has also faced great challenges facing land use, such as the expansion of illicit crops (coca), illegal gold mining, armed conflict with the FARC, and expansion of the extensive cattle ranch and the extraction of wood. These challenges have hindered the growth and limited the consolidation of institutional structures in the region.
According to the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam), in 2017 219,973 hectares of trees were deforested, 65.5% of that occuring in the Amazon. This new figure is an increase of 23% compared to 2016, when 179,000 hectares of forests were converted. 81% national deforestation occurs in only in six departments (Caquetá, Guaviare, Meta, Antioquia, Putumayo and Chocó). In the Amazon region, the deforested area has doubled destroying 144,147 hectares of forest.
Almost half (49.1%) of the country's forest loss is concentrated in only seven Amazonian municipalities. All of them showed an increase in deforested area of more than 100% compared to what was detected in 2016. In general terms, by 2017, 723 municipalities registered at least 1 hectare deforested. Vicente del Caguán (26,632 ha), Cartagena del Chairá (22,591 ha), and Solano (6,890 ha) were the most impacted.
However, the transformations that the country has undergone in recent years, especially the commitments it has acquired in international scenarios against the conservation of biodiversity, the fight against climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals, and the signing of the Peace Accords with the FARC have influenced regional public policy and the interest of various actors to contribute to the changes required by the region to reorient its development. As a result, numerous initiatives have emerged, led by different actors, both local and national and international, with diverse but complementary objectives, which, while not constituting a low emission development strategy, contribute to its objectives and are exercises that are already orienting the region in the right direction.
Land sepculation, extensive Livestock, mining, illicit crops, legal and illegal use of timber, and above all irregular infrastructure that is breaking the connectivity of ecosystems.
|(1)||Due to different methodological approaches and base years, Forest Status data fields may differ slightly. Data sources for each field are listed below.|
Programa: Sistema de Monitoreo de Bosques y Carbono SMBYC, Convenio IDEAM – PATRIMONIO NATURAL– CORPOAMAZONIA 1990-2000
DANE, Colombia , 2020
PNUD, Colombia , 2010