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Chingaza Natural National Park
Parque Nacional Natural Chingaza

colombia

First Listed

2020

Area
7,600km2

Why is it Green Listed?

Located on the Eastern Andes, it is found northeast of Bogota. It comprises 11 municipalities: 7 in Cundinamarca (Fomeque, Choachi, La Calera, Guasca, Junin, Gachala and Medina), 4 in Meta (San Juanito, El Calvario, Restrepo and Cumaral.)

The high Andean, sub-Andean forest and moorland ecosystems are predominant in the area, acting also as havens for majestic fauna and flora reserves.

The Chingaza NNP is perhaps one of the most important and strategic areas of the National Natural Park System because of the role it plays regarding: (i) the provision of water through the Chingaza System, (the largest water concession, operated by the Water Company of Bogotá) that benefits about 10 million people in the Capital District of Bogotá and neighboring municipalities, (ii) the conservation of paramo and Andean forest ecosystems, critical for the regulation of the water cycle in the Orinoco macro basin; (iii) the conservation of endemic and / or threatened flora and fauna species nationally and globally; and (iv) the safeguarding of landscapes and places of high cultural value for indigenous communities that lived in Cundinamarca and Meta, for the inhabitants of the area of ​​influence of the park that since the time of the colony have built close relationships with this territory and for the historical memory of the country.

Key Achievements

Conservation

  • Increased detectability of the Andean Bear in the last decade in the protected area and its direct zone of influence.
  • 91.7% of the protected area in natural cover; high degree of conservation.
  • Increase in the number of researchers in the protected area.

Good governance

  • Management planning formulated in a participatory manner.
  • Participation of the site’s team in the development planning of the municipalities in the area of influence and in watershed management plans.
  • Joint formulation of local emergency and contingency plans, and joint response to emergency events.

Community benefits

  • Improvement of tourist infrastructure to increase the number of visitors, including
  • community ecotourism corporation (Corpochingaza) to operate services within the area.
  • Market plans and design of experiences that link local tourism initiatives in the area of influence with the park’s attractions.
  • Technical support to tourism small businesses in the buffer area.

Site Attributes

WDPA ID
143

Size
7,600km2

Designation(s)
RAMSAR

IUCN Category
II

Year Established
1968

Marine Protected Area
No

Governance Type
Federal or national ministry or agency

Site Agency
Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia

Site Manager
Juan Carlos Clavijo

Application
18.11.2018

EAGL Evaluation
20.03.2020

GL Committee Submission
28.05.2020

EAGL Chair
Sandra Valenzuela

ASI Reviewer
Carlos Escobar

Site Summary

Chingaza National Natural Park (NNP) is located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes, to the northeast of Bogotá. It has an area of ​​76,600 has and heights ranging from 800 to 4,020 meters above sea level. The Park is part of the Chingaza Massif, which corresponds to a branch of the Eastern Cordillera, which originates in the páramo of Guasca (Lomas de Siecha) following the Palacio and Barajas Paramos.

Declared in 1977, the Chingaza NNP is perhaps one of the most important and strategic areas of the National Natural Park System because of the role it plays regarding: (i) the provision of water through the Chingaza System, (the largest water concession, operated by the Water Company of Bogotá) that benefits about 10 million people in the Capital District of Bogotá and neighboring municipalities, (ii) the conservation of paramo and Andean forest ecosystems, critical for the regulation of the water cycle in the Orinoco macro basin; (iii) the conservation of endemic and / or threatened flora and fauna species nationally and globally; and (iv) the safeguarding of landscapes and places of high cultural value for indigenous communities that lived in Cundinamarca and Meta, for the inhabitants of the area of ​​influence of the park that since the time of the colony have built close relationships with this territory and for the historical memory of the country.

The management of the Area and the entities that have jurisdiction in the Chingaza region, must be done in an articulated manner to achieve the conservation objectives. An additional determining factor is global warming, a reality that requires differentiated strategies to ensure the environmental and ecosystem services offered by the Chingaza Park at the national, regional and local levels. For this, three conservation objectives (OC) were built from a socio-ecosystem perspective: OC 1. Contribute to the improvement of the continuity of the Andean-Orinoco basin ecosystems present in the Chingaza National Park for the protection of wildlife species habitats and flora and the offer of its ecosystem services. OC 2. Improve the ecological connectivity of the water sources of the Chingaza NNP in order to maintain its provision, regulation and cultural services. And OC 3. Contribute to the conservation of the cultural values ​​of the municipalities in the jurisdiction of the Chingaza NNP associated with traditional knowledge.

1. NATURAL VALUES
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
Variation in observed occupation: <-20%: Critical >-20%: Satisfactory Variation in observed Density: <-20%: Critical >-20%: Satisfactory
Index shows an increase in the occupation indicator (phi; Ф) between 0.79 and 1, which implies that the bear population is in a desirable state
High to very high
Yellow-eared Parrot (Pyrrhura calliptera)
Variation in observed occupation: <-20%: Critical >-20%: Satisfactory Variation in relative abundance: To be defined
Increase in sightings has been recorded; data are consistently analyzed to confirm that these sightings reflect a desirable state of the populations.
Very high / Very Good
Coverage
Variation in natural coverage: <-5%: Critical -1% to -5%: Acceptable >0%: Satisfactory
91.7% of the protected area has natural coverage and the remaining 8.3% is in different states of intervention. Taking into account landscape metrics and ecosystem functionality, 41% of the protected area (eastern sector) is in a high state of conservation (larger, continuous, and compact patches), 49% in a medium state of conservation (western sector), and 9.65% in a low state of conservation (central sector)
High to very high
2. ECOSYSTEM SERVICE VALUES
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
WATER
Currently, monitoring designs are being implemented at the main basins in order to establish the physical state of the water bodies providing the service to 13 municipalities, including the capital city. The improvement plan will address the vulnerability study in order to revise the integrity of this service, particularly in the light of climate change and interrupted connectivity.
-
It’s been made clear that the supply capacity of the PA is sufficient enough to provide for the surrounding municipalities without major shortages.
3. CULTURAL VALUES
MONITORING OF VALUES
THRESHOLDS OF SUCCESS
CONDITION OF VALUES
SUMMARY OF TRENDS AND RESULTS
Although recognized in the conservation objectives, no cultural values are specifically identified; management strategies are overarching.

Conservation Summary


EAGL statement: Based on the evidence provided, the governance and perceived benefits analysis made with actors in December 2018, the field visit undertaken in January 2019, the improvement plan that has been outlined upon the recommendations of the first decision-making meeting in April 2019 and several additional meetings made with the park staff in order to set necessary strategies to reinforce critical topics in the management instruments of the site (e.g. climate vulnerability, additional agreements with local and private actors), the EAGL agrees that the site meets the standard, and is prepared to receive the certification, considering that:

Component 1 The evolving land-use planning regulations in the territory around Chingaza NNP have implied new responsibilities and the need to involve new actors in the site’s management over the years. Handled with a number of agreements coming into place since its declaration, Chingaza’s Management Plan 2018-2022 reflects these historical changes and builds upon a participatory approach with community actors from the eleven municipalities of the buffer (influence) area, local and regional governmental entities, non-governmental organizations and academia, in order to effectively and equitably administrate it under the socio-ecosystemic conditions of the Chingaza territory. Although additional efforts need to be made with Bogotá regarding water management as well as with certain authorities and communities, the site performs its management strategies based on the afore-mentioned agreements, capturing the historical social, political and biological changes that enable good governance conditions within the territory.

Component 2 The Management Plan 2018-2022 has been drafted since 2012 jointly by the technical teams within National Parks, with the support of academia and NGO partners, whose contributions have made it a robust instrument guided by three conservation objectives, that value the territory’s natural and cultural capital: OC 1. To contribute to the continuity of the Andean-Orinocan ecosystems present in Chingaza NNP, by protecting species of fauna and flora habitat and the supply of ecosystem services; OC 2. To improve the ecological connectivity of the water sources of Chingaza NNP in order to maintain their provisioning, regulating and cultural services; OC 3. To contribute to the conservation of the cultural values of the municipalities under the jurisdiction of Chingaza NNP associated with the traditional knowledge. These conservation objectives are articulated with two strategic objectives and six management objectives in a Strategic Plan that shows the route and follow-up needed to achieve the proposed goals. With the existing literature and research regarding the ecosystem services of the area, particularly for beneficiaries in the capital city and other municipalities near-by, the site has the full potential to establish adequate management strategies to address latent pressures and threats such as water demand and climate change.

In relation to the effective management of the site (Component 3), Chingaza defined a number of strategies to be implemented in order to comply with the Management Plan. These strategies are embodied in the Prevention, Monitoring and Control protocol, the Monitoring Program, the Communication and Environmental Education Strategy, the Ecological Restoration Strategy, the Ecotourism Management Program, the Integrated Water Resource Management strategy and the processes that are advanced from the Use, Occupation and Tenure overall programme.

The management effectiveness results are assessed using the methodology “Analysis of the effectiveness of the management of Protected Areas with Social Participation – AEMAPPS, in order to guide the actions proposed in the management plan. Chingaza NNP has been evaluating its effectiveness since 2004 and has been doing so annually since 2010, seeking opportunities for improvement in order to adjust the processes and strategies it has been adopting.

Lastly, successful conservation results (Component 4) are being demonstrated by several technical research results, based on the fact that Chingaza NNP uses Conservation-targeted Values (VOC as per in Spanish) as indicators of the state of the site’s ecosystems and ecosystem services.

The last six-monthly monitoring report (June 2018) shows preliminary results for VOCs considered to be fine filters: Monitoring of the Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) shows an increase in the occupation indicator (phi; Ф) between 0.79 and 1, which implies that the bear population is in a desirable state. Monitoring of the Yellow-eared Parrot (Pyrrhura calliptera) has also shown an increase in sightings, however, data are being analyzed to confirm that these sightings reflect a desirable state of the populations.

The analysis of ecological integrity for 222,817 ha within the protected area and its geographic buffer (influence) zone is presented. This analysis concludes that 91.7% of the protected area has natural cover and the remaining 8.3% is in different states of intervention. However, taking into account landscape metrics and ecosystem functionality, the study states that 41% of the protected area (eastern sector) is in a high state of conservation (larger, continuous, and compact patches), 49% in a medium state of conservation (western sector), and 9.65% in a low state of conservation (central sector). 

Reviewer statement:

In general terms, all the stages to achieve the candidacy before the Green List have been completed at different times, mainly, in the last 2 years, highlighting that:

  • The documentation has been gradually uploaded to COMPASS because the PA, the support team and the EAGL are working online on the Google Drive platform.
  • Consultation with stakeholders on implementation and other issues related to the Green List was held in December 2019. This was documented as a Governance Workshop with the participation of different entities and stakeholders.
  • The visit of two EAGL experts was carried out in January 2019 in which several key issues of the Green List were addressed according to the initial self-evaluation and, in addition, they interviewed key stakeholders such as EAAB and Corpochingaza. The report of this visit is available in the PA section, using the COMPASS format.
  • The EAGL held three previous meetings before the final meeting where it approved the candidacy. Part of these meetings had to do with monitoring the formulation and implementation of concrete improvement actions that were identified by the experts in the visit carried out in January 2019. In the case of the final approval meeting, it was observed that there was consensus and freedom of opinion. In addition, it was confirmed that none of the experts had any type of impairment. All of these meetings are documented in the EAGL section.
  • Nearly 13 months passed between the first meeting (02/08/2019) to evaluate the results of the visit and the final decision meeting (03/20/2020), observing the commitment of the PA and the support team to implement the expert feedback.As a reviewer, I was present, virtually and in face to face, in the most important meetings, especially in which decisions were made about the PA candidacy process. Additionally, I had sessions with the support team to verify compliance with the User Manual, the use of the COMPASS platform, among other aspects. Importantly, the EAGL carried out this entire PA evaluation process while reviewing and adjusting the indicators for the new version of the standard so that the PA used the updated version.
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