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WWF Guardians are a group of exceptional supporters who each year pledge at least £1,000 to a specific and urgent conservation programme. They’ve been instrumental in helping safeguard some of the world’s most vulnerable wildlife, places and people.

This year we’re asking the Guardians to help us protect a unique and incredible place in the heart of the Colombian Amazon – Chiribiquete.

Heaven on Earth Or Paradise Lost?

Colombia Map

As the world’s forests continue to be destroyed by wildfires and deliberate mass deforestation, we need to fight to save what's left, including globally important tropical rainforests like Chiribiquete. This unique and ancient paradise has remained untouched for millions of years. Yet as a surge of land grabbing and illegal deforestation moves ever closer, Chiribiquete’s future is under serious threat.

Chiribiquete

Its as though time has stood still in this extraordinary ancient landscape. Spectacular table-top mountains called ‘tepuyes’ – the oldest rock formations in South America – soar like islands above the lush, pristine rainforest that is mainly unexplored. The caves and walls of these giant, towering plateaus are adorned with fascinating indigenous rock paintings, some dating back 20,000 years.

Nationally and globally important

Chiribiquete Jaguar

Chiribiquete’s indigenous people and its wildlife are intrinsically linked to the landscape. For countless generations, communities such as the Urumi and Yuri have lived in harmony alongside thousands of wildlife species – including jaguars, spectacled bears, lowland tapirs, giant anteaters, woolly monkeys and the beautiful Chiribiquete emerald hummingbird, endemic to the area.

Chiribiquete  Bear

This unique paradise on Earth has much wider connections too. It’s the confluence between the Orinoco savannah, the Andes mountain range, the Guyana Shield and the whole rainforest ecosystem, and plays a crucial role in maintaining their health. Chiribiquete is also key in fighting the climate crisis, regulating rainfall and temperature patterns and storing millions of tonnes of carbon in its tree canopy and soil.

Under Threat

Chiribiquete People

But, this vibrant, valuable and vitally important haven of life is under serious threat. Huge issues have arisen since the landmark 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). As FARC has moved out of parts of the buffer zone around the park, opportunists have moved in, heralding a surge of illegal logging, mining and cattle ranching. Around 563 sq km of rainforest have already been lost – the equivalent of over 84,000 football pitches – and new areas are being cleared at an unprecedented rate, increasing access to Chiribiquete itself.

Ensuring Paradise Remains

We really can’t afford to lose this age-old and globally important landscape- join the WWF Guardians and the fight to protect it.

Chiribiquete Monkey

This is a challenging situation with no quick or easy fix. Yet, it is vital that we fight deforestation around Chiribiquete, or we risk losing this ancient, irreplaceable paradise and its rich web of life.

We’re helping local action groups, called ‘Environmental Explorers’ who are passionate about protecting the rainforest and its riches. They monitor wildlife and record vital natural resources such as water and native rainforest trees. They then share their findings with farmers and others, showing them the value of what they have and now managing it sustainably can benefit them as well as the planet.

We can also continue working with government and communities to build a more connected and sustainable way of land management that protects the needs of people and wildlife while fighting the destruction. Together we have the chance to create a new page in Colombia’s history that puts nature at its heart. Please join us.

Your gift today can help us reach these key goals:

  • support our crucial work with indigenous and local people living in the buffer zone around Chiribiquete, giving them the technical skills they need to monitor the forest
     
  • help train Environmental Explorers and other groups to work with local farmers, in order to survey and protect the forest on their lands
     
  • support our vital advocacy work with the Colombian government and private sectors, pushing for sound governance policies, rational land use planning and sustainable investment in the Colombian Amazon
     
  • help fund workshops with indigenous and local people, to ensure their interests are recorded and included in national policy discussions – strengthening forest management and fighting deforestation

‘There is more and more pressure in this region and I am now an old man. People like us want to preserve the lands, but to do this we need the world to help.’

Marco Zapata, farmer


 

Chiribiquete Cropped

As a Guardian you’ll receive exclusive updates on the progress of this work, as well as invitations to special events around the country. For more information call our Guardians team on 0800 038 1030, or email guardians@wwf.org.uk