Tropical Andes

The Tropical Andes is teeming with biodiversity and plays a critical role in stabilizing the global climate. We support conservation organizations, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities to designate new protected areas, advance the tenure rights of Indigenous territories, and more effectively manage protected areas.

An overhead view of tall cliffs covered in green trees in the Herencia Colombia Forest.
(Photo credit: WWF)

Protecting the Tropical Andes and Western Amazon

The Tropical Andes is a natural marvel where the Amazon rainforest meets the Andes mountains. This meeting point spans five countries – Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela – and covers an area larger than the European Union. The region stores some 200 gigatons of carbon in its soils (equivalent to four times the annual global emission of CO2), vegetation, forests, and the headwaters of the Amazon River.

The Amazon rainforest is the world's largest tropical rainforest and plays an extraordinary role in regulating global climatic stability. It is also home to many Indigenous cultures and 12% of all species found on Earth. Yet only 23% of this vast region is designated as protected areas. However, many of the region's governments are committed to expanding this to 30% by 2030.

The Bezos Earth Fund supports a coalition of organizations to advance conservation in the Tropical Andes, working with governments and more than 120 local partner organizations in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Together, we’re striving to establish more than 48 million hectares of new protected areas, secure the rights to 19 million hectares of lands for local communities, and strengthen the management of more than 108 million hectares of protected areas improve the management of more than 60 million hectares of existing protected and conserved areas. Given the crucial role that Indigenous Peoples and local communities play in effectively managing key biodiversity areas, 30% of Earth Fund resources are being channeled to support these groups.

Reaching the 30% goal will require designating new protected areas and expanding new conservation approaches, including advancing Indigenous territories' tenure rights and guardianship. It will also be crucial to strengthen the capacity of the countries, civil society, and local communities to manage areas effectively to ensure the protection of biodiversity and carbon.

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