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The UN-REDD National Programme in Colombia bears fruit with the National Forest Inventory (NFI)

Blog | Tue, 07 Mar, 2023 · 9 min read
one man measuring NFI Colombia


Colombia has a total of 59.5 million hectares of natural forest, making up 52.1 percent of the country’s territory. It is one of the countries with the greatest natural forest cover in Latin America, along with a high diversity of flora and fauna.

Despite this, in 2014, Colombia was the only country in Latin America that had not started the first cycle of the National Forest Inventory (NFI). That is why, starting in 2015, within the framework of the UN-REDD National Programme and with the support of other donors, the country began to design and prepare the start of this colossal but important process.

The NFI within Colombia is focused on, among other objectives, updating and improving forest knowledge through the reliable, consistent and continuous generation of data.  This provides better information on forest structure, composition and the functioning of natural forests to combat climate change.

In brief, the UN-REDD National Programme supported Colombia in:

This support led the Colombian government to continue with NFI implementation in subsequent years. In 2022, the IDEAM signed an agreement with FAO Representation in Colombia to conclude the first cycle of NFI in the Andes and Caribbean regions.

Within the framework of this agreement, and in line with UN-REDD Programme Technical Assistance, the following activities were accomplished:

By 2023, we aim to:

  • Conclude the survey of 297 sampling units in the Andean and Caribbean regions, where the country will achieve the development of the NFI baseline, obtaining results from the botanical collection, soil and litter samples, allowing the estimation of soil organic carbon and the taxonomic botanical identification of the samples collected.
  • Release the cartoon character, CRAX, which represents the Colombian Curassow (Crax alberti), a critically endangered species due to deforestation, poaching and climate change.  Crax is considered the second most important bird in Colombia after the condor of the Andes. The release will include: the miniseries, "I explain it to you with plasticine;" two plasticine workshops; and CRAX al Cine (free local movie screenings and national press, etc).  
  • Report the results of the baseline survey on gender aspects developed in the sampling units, including men and women between 14- and 84-years-old and representing local  communities, Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants.

The seeds of the UN-REDD National Programme in Colombia are bearing fruit, with the country close to completing its first NFI cycle, consolidating national capacity and other issues related to forest monitoring collaboratively, led by the IDEAM.



Adriana Patricia Yepes Quintero. Expert in REDD+ and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) - REDD+/NFM Team for Latin America, FAO.

Nhaydú Bohórquez Expert in REDD+ and Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) - REDD+/NFM Team for Latin America, FAO.

María del Carmen Ruíz-Jaen, PhD. REDD+ Expert and REDD+ / NFM Team Coordinator for Latin America


With contributions from:

Lucio Andrés Santos Acuña. Forestry Officer, REDD+ Team, FAO

Carla Ramírez. FAO Regional Advisor on Forest Inventories and REDD+