S.F.E.C. Programme


Sustainable Livelihoods and Forest Ecosystem Conservation, Colombia


Basin of the Buritaca river, Department of Magdalena, Colombia




The SFEC Programme is a forest conservation and rural development programme for the high conservation value forests (HCVF) of the Buritaca Basin located in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Department of Magdalena, Colombia. The programme is based on prospect land acquisition deals and partnerships with local state actors, non-governmental organizations, a Community Based Organization (CBO) of local forest dwellers, and ENVIRONOMICA.

The programme aims to safeguard portions of mega-diverse  ecosystems and water resources by establishing a forest reserve, while supporting the transition of local livelihoods to short, medium and long-term sustainable activities by disseminating know-how, targeting certified markets and fostering regional inclusive green growth.

The primary goals of the Programme are:

  • to secure representative portions of HCVF ecosystems in the basin of the Buritaca river through reforestation and conservation,
  • to foster local farmers’ land rights formalization by way of triggering class-based validation processes,
  • to guide the transition of local rural economies to sustainable, inclusive and certified integrated operations.



Programme Partners

    WWF_OASI_logo200px    wwf-colombia-200px    RFC_logo-web    ProSierra-logo-website


Project Rationale


The Programme is based on a preliminary need assessment run in March 2015 by our team and on a baseline study assessed between September and December 2015. Roughly 1.5 million people are dependent upon the freshwater supplied by the Sierra Nevada. Yet its inhabitants are thriving at the expense of nature through uncontrolled cattle ranching, land clearing, poaching, and irresponsible eco-tourism. The project will tackle the following issues with respective strategic actions:




S.F.E.C. Modules

Mod 1 – Organic crops and restoration

The first Module focuses on optimizing land use and generating income via organically grown indigenous cotton and cacao under cooperative arrangements. Farms will be reorganized with a holistic land management plan for the area aimed at restoring forest cover and reducing cattle grazing.

Mod 2 – Forest reserve and land rights

Module 2 addresses security of tenure: the legal status of land possessions will be assessed in conjunction with regional public authorities. Through the community’s Free, Prior and Informed Consent, forms of compensation for conservation will be sought and rightful settlers asked to join Environomica’s Megadiverse Forest Reserve.

Mod 3 – Reforestation and tourism

The third Module builds upon the previous two modules to restore ecological corridors through extensive reforestation, optimized land use and growing portions of protected forest. The Lost City tourism will be linked with this restoration process and its responsible commercialization boosted as a sustainable, profitable alternative for income generation in the area.

Mod 4 – Dissemination and replication

Module 4 means the Programme has been fully implemented and is now proof-of-concept: time to disseminate its results throughout the local, regional and global communities alongside assessing best suited locations where to replicate the project.


Support: we need your help!


To further the SFEC Project ENVIRONOMICA sends out a call to prospect partners and donors. Support our new project in the world’s most irreplaceable nature reserve:




Bank: Banca Etica
IBAN: IT 90 I 05018 12101 000000 195862





SFEC Gallery