Nature-Based Solutions in the cloud forest and paramo zones of Colombia: social and ecological consequences of ecological restoration projects
Montane cloud forests and the paramo (tropical alpine vegetation in the Andes) above are increas-ingly recognised by society and politics in Colombia as important areas for regulating water re-sources and storing carbon. At the same time, large areas in both ecosystems are intensively used for potato farming and cattle grazing, as well as mining, and are highly degraded, jeopardising water security, especially in times of increased rainfall unpredictability. In response, different entities (e.g. local communities, NGOs and government institutions) are working to restore the ecological functions of these ecosystems through ecological restoration efforts. In this project we ask how such “Nature-Based Solutions” are organised, what knowledge dynamics are involved, how suc-cessful they are in restoring ecological functions (biodiversity, hydrological regulation, carbon stor-age), and what societal effects they have. Through participatory research we will gain a first-hand understanding of the social and ecological backgrounds and consequences of selected projects and will map out existing knowledge dynamics. Through exchange between projects and joint restora-tion trials, we will clarify the regional transferability of organisational structures and technical-ecological strategies.