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Strengthening Sustainable Resource Management and Local Livelihoods in Los Katíos National Park


This project aims to strengthen sustainable natural resource management in Los Katíos National Park in a way that also provides sustainable livelihood options for local communities living in the area and its buffer zone.

With the support of a national expert, the project foresees a series of activities to enhance the capacities of Los Katíos’ management team, to raise the local communities’ awareness regarding the natural conservation values, to identify and develop sustainable activities for local livelihoods, and to strengthen environmental education and communication local networks. The project will work with the local communities, recognizing and including their traditional knowledge regarding the management and conservation of natural resources, and with the property’s management structure to build a “Sustainable Resource Management Programme for Conservation and Local Livelihoods” and to develop its first implementation steps.

The project responds to the concerns of the World Heritage Committee raised by the most recent Decision 41 COM 7B.11, as well as Decision 39 COM 7A.19 when the property was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger. Additionally, support to Los Katíos National Park was considered among the common goals set by the “Action Plan for World Heritage in South America” (PAAS 2015-2020) endorsed by Decision 39 COM 10B.4 of the World Heritage Committee.

Fund this project
Budget Proposed
US$ 125 000

18 months


Conservation ● Capacity Building

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The Decision CONF 003 XI inscribed Los Katíos National Park in the World Heritage List as an exceptional area of biodiversity, home to several threatened animal species and many endemic plants. Since 1998, the Committee has reviewed the property’s state of conservation thirteen times, inscribing it on the List of World Heritage in Danger from 2009 to 2015 due to the presence of illegal activity, armed conflict, and lack of an effective management framework.
The present project responds to the common goals established in the “Action Plan for World Heritage in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region” (PARALC 2014-2024) and the “Action Plan for World Heritage in South America” (PAAS 2015-2020).

As a key strategy, a Program of Pilot Projects in South America (PPPAS) was established in the framework of the elaboration of the PAAS 2015-2020. This project was one of those selected by the State Parties in line with the Expected Result ER2-A2: Development and implementation of participative projects (local communities) on sustainable development in World Heritage properties that generate positive effects in standard of living, poverty alleviation and inclusion of women and young people in the conservation of World Heritage.


  1. Elaborate a “Sustainable Resource Management Programme for Conservation and Local Livelihoods” through a participative process of raising environmental awareness among local communities, documentation of their economic, social, and cultural practices, and the construction and socialization of a proposal of sustainable livelihood alternatives;

  2. Implement an educative capacity-building course for the design and implementation of an effective management structure in Los Katíos, in accordance with the international standards and the use agreements with the local communities, for both PNN staff and community leaders. This course will strengthen the dialogue and promote knowledge exchange among the actors involved;

  3. Organize a technical workshop with Darién National Park of Panamá from both properties to exchange management and conservation strategies of the two natural World Heritage properties. The purpose of the initiative is strengthening the joint efforts to highlight the significance of the World Heritage designation, identify and protect shared Outstanding Universal Values, build proposals to engage local communities in the protection of the properties, and include local traditional knowledge in the governance schemes;

  4. Socialization with the local communities the results obtained during the project and of the sustainable livelihood alternatives developed in the document “Sustainable Resource Management Programme for Conservation and Local Livelihoods”;

  5. Elaborate and disseminate the “Sustainable Resource Management Programme for Conservation and Local Livelihoods”, and the results achieved during the project. The document will contain a chapter for each community and include its local knowledge regarding environmental conservation, sustainable resources management, and its particular challenges.

  6. Strengthen the local capacities of environmental communication teams to reinforce local actions and broadcast the results through audiovisual pieces with the support of the Communication and Environmental Education Office of PNN (GCEA).

Outcomes & Beneficiaries

  1. Strengthening of the management skills of the PNN staff, leaders of community-based organizations, and regional environmental authorities.
  2. Environmental awareness of all the communities that live inside and near the protected area regarding the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and impacts on the OUV.
  3. Elaboration of the “Sustainable Resource Management Programme for Conservation and Local Livelihoods” based on the workshops with the communities. The document (in Spanish, and a condensed version in English) will have a chapter for each community that summarizes their environmental conservation and sustainable management of natural resources, local knowledge, their challenges, and the productive livelihood alternatives accompanied by a corresponding budget and work plans for future implementation.
  4. Implementation of a community education and communication strategy for environmental conservation, sustainable development, and local livelihoods. The project will equip the 2 community networks of environmental education and communication called “Ecoparches” and will offer video production workshops for the 6 communities. As a result, the Communications and Environmental Education Office of PNN will develop with the communities an audiovisual piece to communicate the project’s process and results.
  5. Produce a report regarding the results of the technical exchange workshop among management authorities of Los Katíos National Park of Colombia and Darién National Park of Panama.
  6. Initiate implementation of the productive alternatives for the local livelihoods and sustainable management of Los Katios’ natural resources. Possibilities include: a) pilot with the productive alternatives of 2 communities (namely, the indigenous community of Join Phubuur of the Wounaan people and the Afrocolombian community of Bijao), or b) develop a joint funding for common necessities that the communities share.
  7. Elaborate a final report (English and Spanish) that summarizes the results of the different activities and results achieved during the project.


The 6 local communities living in or near Los Katíos National Park have unique and rich material, cultural, and spiritual uses of the natural resources inside the protected area. The local communities belong to 3 different ethnic groups: Afrocolombian, Wounaan indigenous people, and Kuna-Dule indigenous people. Inside the property lives the Juin Phubuur indigenous community of the Wounaan people, meanwhile the others live in the adjacent territory or buffer zone.
Although the Park authorities implement integral strategies to attend the situation, the population increase and the permanent use of fishing, forestry, and agricultural resources cause effects which, as time goes by, might generate significant impacts on the conservation state of the World Heritage property, as signalled by previous Decisions of the World Heritage Committee.
In this context, the project establishes as a priority the development of the management capacities of the PNN team, other involved national institutions, and the community-based organizations that have been supporting the site’s management. Additionally, it is crucial to establish new strategies that raise the local communities’ awareness of the natural values, its sustainable uses, and the importance of the conservation of the World Heritage property. Furthermore, it is necessary to identify and develop the first steps of sustainable productive livelihood alternatives, with the direct participation of the concerned people, in order to have feasible community-based structures that contribute both to reducing the pressures on the protected area, and strengthening local livelihoods, thereby providing a highly relevant and necessary contribution to the existing management plan for Los Katíos, and strengthening its overall implementation.


The following timeline (18 months) can be envisaged for implementation of the project:
  • September 2018: Approval by donor
  • Contractual and funding arrangements
  • Phase 1: Work plan design
  • Phase 2: First set of community workshops
  • Phase 3: Management capacity course
  • Phase 4: Productive alternatives and communication skills workshops
  • Phase 5: Technical workshop with Darien (Panama)
  • Initial implementation of productive alternatives and fundraising
  • Phase 6: Elaboration and socialisation of programme, communication materials


An estimated overall extra-budgetary funding of USD 125.000 is needed for the implementation of this project. These funds will cover the following estimated costs:
  • 12 workshops with the communities
  • 2 collective community assemblies
  • Capacity-building course for management authorities
  • Technical cooperation workshop with Darien National Park (Panama)
  • Environmental education and communications process with Ecoparches
  • Fees and travel expenses for the IUCN expert
  • Fees and travel expenses for national project coordinator
  • Elaboration and translation of reports, audiovisual pieces, and other contemplated documents
  • Elaboration, publication, and distribution of the document “Sustainable Resource Management Programme for Conservation and Local Livelihoods”.


A communication & visibility plan will be developed in consultation with the donor(s) and will include (but not limited to) the options below:

Visibility material

Placement / Event



Information on the project on WHC’s website


LAC Extra-budgetary webpage:


Reports to the World Heritage Committee


43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (June/July 2019)

WH Committee members, Observers, NGOs, site-managers, press

Approx. 2,000 participants from 193 countries


Logo + speech

Article in the World Heritage Review


“World Heritage Review” Magazine and “World Heritage Information”


Approx. 20,000 targeted subscribers


Cesar Moreno-Triana
Project Officer
World Heritage Centre
Latin America and the Caribbean Unit

En complément (1)
Objectifs stratégiques
  • Crédibilité
  • Communautés
  • Conservation
  • Développement des capacités
  • Communication