Restoring Ayapel swamp planting together

by Corporacion Para El Desarrollo Integral De La Cienaga Ayapel Vetted since 2017

Our dream of planting 1 million trees is getting closer and closer. In 2017 we managed to build the nursery of native species, we were able to start the production of the first 30,000 trees and prepare them to reach the Ayapel swamp. But 2018 is the year in which we started sowing in territory with our Ranger families. We are doing very well and we want to thank you for trusting Corpoayapel.

The first thing we did this year was to invite families of fishermen and farmers to sign up for the project, then we visited the farms on the banks of the swamps, we defined the lots and the species that we were going to plant. But the most important thing was missing and is to start sowing with the community. To date, we have planted 2,300 trees and by the end of July we will see the first 10,000 trees planted. In November we will have planted the first 30,000 trees.

We hope that many more people around the world will come together and help us to rehabilitate the second most important swamp in the country. We must ensure that one of the 10 RAMSAR wetlands in Colombia has recovered and this is only possible with the support of all.

Here are some photos of the work we are doing with the communities and we want to invite all donors to share with friends and family so they can also link with the resources they can. It is very easy to help and generate a giant impact on one of the most important ecosystems in the world.

Million trees back
Million trees back


Corpoayapel is a non-profit organization promoting sustainable development of the Ayapel Marsh Complex and associated communities.

The Ayapel Marsh Complex is only second in importance to the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta. Ayapel marks the easternmost limit of the Mojana Depression, the most important floodplain in the country. Its great biodiversity includes 194 bird species, including 64 migratory species that arrive from the United States and Canada every year.


CORPOAYAPEL set out to chase a dream and named it “Un millón de árboles de vuelta” (Bringing a million trees back). Aiming at rehabilitating in a participatory manner the Ayapel Marsh Complex, the project foresees the involvement of local and external actors in the recuperation, preservation and protection of the area’s natural ecosystems.

In 2017, we were granted USD $11,212 from different individuals who donated through GlobalGiving to enable us to nurse 3363 trees to be planted between April and May, 2018. Seeds collected and shared by the community were used to this end and, most importantly, 34 forest-keeping families will care for the seedlings and see they develop into fully grown trees. Families will receive economic incentives for their efforts in transplanting and caring for the trees, ensuring further commitment to fulfill for our initiative. Chosen families live on the banks of canals and tributaries of the wetland system.

Corpoayapel Prioritizes the Environment in 2017

The organization realized the environment was a major issue in Ayapel. A large-scale strategy for leading and articulating entities at the local, regional and national levels was required to achieve the protection and rehabilitation the marsh complex requires. To this end, we took advantage of existing initiatives and established four action lines: rehabilitation research; RAMSAR conservation implementation; participatory restoration; and environmental education.

The Ayapel Marsh Complex Is Declared a RAMSAR Site

On February 2, 2018 and in the context of the World Wetlands Day, the Minister of Environment of Colombia, Luis Gilberto Murillo, declared the Ayapel Marsh Complex a protected area under the RAMSAR Convention. Thereby, Colombia entered a commitment involving all of its governmental bodies and agencias to protect and recuperate the wetlands and floodplains of Ayapel. Moreover, it opened the door for Corpoayapel to access international cooperation resources.

ConTREEbute Partnership – Bringing a Million Trees Back

ON 2017, Corpoayapel decided to move forward, to turn research into action. We forged a partnership with conTREEbute and created a sound plan to bring back one million trees to the marsh. ConTREEbute has also been a valuable ally in securing funding to make this now-shared dream come true.

Building of a Tree Nursery

SURA Group, through Fundación SURA, made a first contribution for COP $100 million. This made possible the design and creation of a tree nursery, along with all the necessary logistics to begin production of tree saplings of native species. Today, 10,000 saplings have matured and are ready for transplantation, to be carried out between April and March. We are looking forward to getting the necessary funding to nurse and plant over 50,000 trees in 2018.

Further Partnerships Ahead

Here at Corpoayapel, we are working towards creating alliances and partnerships with well-recognized institutions and corporations to develop our environmental projects. Thanks to this, we are able to increase impact, scope and reach of our implementations. Some of our partners include:

· Conservation International

· Ministry of Environment of Colombia


· Autonomous Regional Corporation of the Sinú and San Jorge River Valleys (CVS)

· Palmarito-Casanare Foundation

· ConTREEbute

· University of Antioquia

· SURA Foundation

Students learning about "million trees back"
Students learning about "million trees back"
Forest warden families
Forest warden families

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Organization Information

Corporacion Para El Desarrollo Integral De La Cienaga Ayapel

Location: Medellin - Colombia
Website: http:/​/​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Corpoayapel
Project Leader:
Nicolas Ordonez
Medellin, Colombia

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