Ecopark around watersheds

Full Solution
La Olga Arroyohondo
ADSEI

This project will directly impact the countryside with the construction of a "community" ecopark that integrates the sustainable development of the community of La Olga, in the Arroyohondo eco-basin, Yumbo, Colombia. Serving as a promoter of the countryside in the generation of resources and preventing farmers from migrating to the cities in search of sustenance. Identifying the need to integrate efforts with different institutions and communities improving the ecosystem and having a positive environment. 

ADSEI will be the project integrator offering support and synergies with national or international public or private sectors.

Other objectives of the project will be to help on post-pandemic recovery bring new opportunities related to sustainable activities, reduce climate change effects through reforestation and adequate water sanitation,  improve food security, design and formalize a protocol of the Ecopark process to be able to scale quickly in other similar locations.

Last update: 04 Feb 2022
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Context
Challenges addressed
Unemployment / poverty

The main challenge is to demonstrate with indicators the advantage of creating the ecopark around watersheds.

  1. # of employed people
  2. # of families involved in the project (Depending economically from the project)
  3. # of farmers selling their products in the ecopark
  4. Carbon footprint before and after the ecopark.
  5. CO2 Captured
  6. Water increase in the watershed
  7. Water quality improvement
  8. Biodiversity improvement

This includes several challenges:

Financial challenge: how to create ecoparks that can be self-sustainable,

environmental challenge: how to measure and have a transparent track of carbon removal through reforestation, water quantity and quality improvement

Social challenge: create a culture for all stakeholders and provide them with the administrative and social communication tools to succeed in..

Beneficiaries

The Ecopark will directly impact the rural Community of La Olga, the Industrial Sector of the area and Trade Unions and Associations. The community will benefit from job creation and wealth generation due to tourism and jobs in the development of the ecopark.

Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystems
River, stream
Theme
Tourism
Location
Colombia
South America
Process
Summary of the process

Building block 1 alliances between the Community of La Olga, the Industrial Sector of the area, Government Entities, the Academic Sector, Foreign Entities, Trade Unions and Associations; generating a multidisciplinary interaction that allows the community ecopark to create synergies that vertically integrate the second building block which is Building Block 2 sustainable livelihoods because the allies or actors develop different edges of the project.

Building Blocks
Ecopark

Our proposal to generate a Community Ecopark with walking trails in the sector Olga, mainly seeks to link the community, being these the main protagonists in the development of day-to-day activities of the Ecopark.  as tourist guides, vendors of handicrafts, sellers of agricultural products, patio grown goods and multiple activities more. Thus, generating sustainable development over time, bringing important resources to a community that today lives in poverty and its members do not enjoy state, local or private support.

This project is considered a pilot or seed project whose success will allow multiplying its methodology and actions in other water basins in Colombia and the world where conditions are similar to that of the La Olga sector are visualized. In addition, the success of this project will allow meeting 2 fundamental needs:

a). Improve the quality of life of the community.

b). Increase per capita income of families involved in the project

c). Ensure that sustainable and sustainable activities are carried out in the area that benefits the environment.

Enabling factors

Economical resources: With the proper financing we can start gathering the people and promote the construction of walking trails. Also, we can start reforesting the zone between the watersheds and building our first community house where all the pedagogical and educational lessons will start its development.

Community is one of the most important enabling factors since local communities are the ones that will be trained to operate successfully the Ecopark.

 

Lesson learned

People from the community need to have strong support from the ADSEI Project Director. Otherwise, they will start doubting about the project implementation and execution. This is why ADSEI requires also support from the private sector and the government in the creation of a solid working group. 

Sustainable livelihoods

The Ecopark will be the source of new incomes for all of the participants of the community surrounding the watershed, coming from all activities in the ecopark and sustainable projects like nursery gardens, conservation centres, among others.

Enabling factors

The people of the community will have the opportunity to work directly in activities related to the Ecopark such as tourist transport, lodging, guide in ecological activities, bird watching, trekking activities. It will also include the creation of a database, conservation and reforestation program in the La Olga sector, monitoring and control of water quality and flow at points defined as critical to record expected improvements, creation and maintenance of sites.

Lesson learned

This project needs to create a strong value of belonging in the community since people will directly establish the correct operation and coordination of the activities the Ecopark offers. As a matter of fact, the biggest lesson learned was to establish strong relationships with the community leaders to enhance the communication and motivation for the correct development of the project. 

Impacts

The project will directly impact the following SDGs:

1,6,10,13,14,15 and 17.

Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
Story
Lina María Aguirre Montoya
La Olga Arroyondo
Lina María Aguirre Montoya

The Colombian Association for Sustainable Development and Industrial Ecology (ADSEI) is dedicated to creating Sustainability Strategies and Industrial Ecology. ADSEI, during the Covid -19 pandemic isolation stated to identify that rural communities were the ones that suffered the most due to connectivity issues and institutional support; so the direction of the association decided to impact directly the communities having the privilege to work with one in La Olga, Yumbo, Colombia. When ADSEI went to the communities to see if they had projects or initiatives prepared to work around the water and realized that they really have the interest; they saw a great opportunity to work for these rural communities living nearby the watersheds and the rivers in the improvement of their poverty condition, connectivity with the institutions, and the economical word.  Adsei came up with the idea of integrating stakeholders that will benefit directly the community and support them. That's why we have this pilot created; to measure all the impacts we imagine and we hope to see them come true.

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