Colombia is one of the world’s “megadiverse” countries, hosting close to 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. With 314 types of ecosystems, Colombia possesses rich ecological, climatic and biological complexity.
Colombia’s cloud forest ecosystems contain extraordinary biodiversity, including some of the world’s rarest and most endangered species. For its size, it supports record numbers of birds, frogs, reptiles, butterflies and plants. These cloud forests also supply irrigation and drinking water to millions of people. They act as a giant sponge, absorbing moisture and trapping up to 40% of their weight in water. In Colombia, roughly 70% of the water is delivered by the 2% of landscape that is páramo. Páramo is the miracle that delivers water straight to the users, and this valuable resource, along with other Andean forests, will only exist if they are protected. Sadly, unsustainable land use is leading to the degradation of critical habitats, worsened water quality, disrupted seasonal water flows and an acceleration of species loss.