Open for investment: Novel nature for peace project in Colombia

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This development comes ahead of the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP16), which Colombia is hosting in October 2024.

The project includes a payment for ecosystem services scheme that would benefit ASPROABELEN, a cacao producers’ association in the Colombian department of Caqueta. The Alliance has been working with the association since 2019 as part of its work under the recently concluded Sustainable Land Use Systems Project funded by Germany’s International Climate Initiative, as well as the CGIAR Initiative on Low Emission Food Systems (Mitigate+) and AgriLAC Resiliente.

“Registering this project opens the door to mobilize peacebuilding funding for biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation,” said Dr. Augusto Castro-Nunez, a Senior Scientist at the Alliance. Castro-Nunez leads the team at the Alliance that was directly involved in structuring the project and having it lodged in the registry of projects that are eligible to be supported by obras por impuestos.

Moreover, the team was instrumental in having the policy on the tax credit program adjusted to enable funding toward green businesses or enterprises certified by the Colombian government to be providing goods or services that generate positive environmental impacts.

Under the Colombian government’s guidelines on ‘obras por impuestos’ (its tax credit program), companies that have earned an annual gross income equal to or greater than 33,610 UVT – which equates to approximately $406,000 USD – can opt to invest up to half of the attached income and complementary taxes in projects in Colombian territories affected by conflict, poverty, illicit economy and institutional challenges, that is, those covered by the ZOMAC or PDET programs or both.

“What is needed now is for eligible companies that pay taxes in Colombia to signify their interest to invest in the project,” says Carlos Borda, the Alliance senior research associate who has been working closely with ASPROABELEN and the Colombian environment ministry to register the project in the obras por impuestos project bank.

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