La Minga-An Endowment to Secure Community Driven Conservation on Colombia’s Pacific Coast

Conservación Internacional Colombia
Published: 20 September 2018
Last edited: 05 October 2020
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Conservation International (CI)  and Fondo Acción  (FA)have been actively supporting and contributing to the creation, development and strengthening of three protected areas (RDM Golfo de Tribugá, RDM La Plata and RNP La Sierpe) and communities. To further this work and provide continuity, CI and FA have launched “La Minga” which means “everyone together.” La Minga is an endowment fund and a sinking fund designed to guarantee the financial sustainability of this community-driven network of protected areas (IDM Golfo de Tribugá in Chocó and IDM La Plata, NRP of la Sierpe in valle del Cauca)The fund´s goal is to ultimately help secure the protection of invaluable biodiversity, a deeply prized cultural heritage, and the natural capital on which the local communities depend. This is the first time in
Colombia where long-term financial sustainability for protected area management is being developed with the people who live there, who have driven this process since the very beginning.


South America
Scale of implementation
Coastal forest
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Access and benefit sharing
Ecosystem services
Protected and conserved areas governance
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
Other theme
partipatory budget
Ecosystem loss
Lack of access to long-term funding
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 1 – No poverty
SDG 2 – Zero hunger
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
Aichi targets
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Sendai Framework
Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP by 2030


Chocó Department, Colombia | Golfo de Tribugá (Chocó), Buenaventura (Valle del Cauca)
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Our main challenge is to address the loss of biodiversity thorough participatory solutions that are implemented directly by the communities that live on the protected areas. Also, to obtain a real long term financial mechanism that can guarantee the effective implementation of the management plans of the areas despite of the changing governments, authorities and governance schemes. Lastly we have the challenge to improve the livelihoods conditions of the communities consolidating new economic alternatives based on the sustainable use of the natural resources.




The beneficiaries of La Minga are the community members of La Plata, Chucheros and Nuqui,  who are going to obtain a better management of the area that supplies them with good and services, and are going to be the implementers of the projects

How do the building blocks interact?

Considering that these 3 protected areas are vital for the livelihoods of several ethnic communities, and that the financial resources are needed to implement the management plans, the governance structure is necessary so there is an assertive investment of the money depending on the actual necessities of the people and the territory.

Therefore, these 2 building blocks are completely connected because without the governance and co-management structure it wouldn’t be possible to prioritize the investment. On the other hand, the long term financial mechanism is necessary to be able to maintain a real governance of the natural resources that entails actions and activities.



La Minga impacts directly in the management of the selected protected areas, assuring the resources for the implementation of its actions and strategies. Therefore, we are helping to ensure the conservation values over time.

La Minga also influences the community-based processes by strengthening the abilities of their organizations giving them the opportunity to implement the actions of the management plans and the financial resources to administrate their territory.

Lastly, there will be a noticeable impact in the living conditions of the communities considering that a big part of the actions required is the need to consolidate economic alternatives for the communities that reduce their poverty and helps them acquire dignified living conditions.


Conservación Internacional Colombia

The community of Mangaña -located in the protected area of la Plata-, holds approximately 21 families that depend exclusively of natural resources (specially piangüa, fish, and mangrove) and are currently facing difficult conditions regarding the satisfaction of their basic needs.

Knowing past interventions of CI (in another communities), María Paz -a teacher in Mangaña- decided to approach us and asked us to help the Community in the conservation of the Mangrove and its resources.

At that time, CI had no resources that could invest in Mangaña. However, the community was willing to start committing and taking CI´s recommendations regarding the sustainable use of nature without expecting any financial retributions. With Mangaña, we designed an Agreement so the community took better care of the mangrove forest, and assigned responsibilities for each person whether as a monitor or collector of piangua and included some functions of control and surveillance.

Mangaña started with the Agreement and is complying with the necessary actions to give a better use of the mangrove, noticing that there are alternatives that result from the conservation actions such as the premium prize commercialization of piangua extracted in a responsible manner and today is one of the most known community iniciatives in Uramba Bahía Malaga

With la Minga, we expect that Mangaña can present a proposal so they can have a recognition for their labors and start to acquire new economic alternatives that relive the natural resources of their pressures; and to escalate this successful model as a successful case of reasonable use of the resources and improving the community wellbeing.

Contributed by

ljaramillo_36039's picture

Laura Jaramillo

Other contributors

Walton Family Foundation
Embassy of Sweden in Colombia