Building sustainable cocoa agroforestry systems in Colombia


Cimitarra and Tierralta, Colombia

About the project:

Decades of civil war, high levels of poverty, and extensive cattle grazing have devastated the land in Colombia's Cimitarra and Tierralta regions. The result is that people are struggling and are forced to further degrade the land to meet their basic needs.

Across two main sites, Initiative 20x20 partner ISA, through Conexión Jaguar, is supporting its local partner UMAU Cacao to access the carbon credit market and restore 3,081 hectares with local farmers. UMAU is growing trees on farms to bring endangered native species back to the area and produce sustainable cocoa and timber for the market. On their own plantations and the land of neighboring farmers, they have started growing more than 12 million trees. This agroforestry system helps increase biodiversity and productivity by boosting soil nutrients, preventing erosion and creating resilient ecosystems. In addition, with Conexión Jaguar's biodiversity and monitoring activities, these leading farmers are identifying a number of native species inhabiting the area.  

The project is protecting the exceptional biodiversity in the area through restoring and reconnecting the previously fragmented habitat of several endangered species. It's also fighting climate change, storing up to 233,000 tons of CO2 in the vegetation and soil. To protect those carbon and biodiversity gains, CCC is working closely with the local communities and partners to build a lasting, positive social impact.

That's why they have invested in educational programs that center the voices of local people and foster awareness of local environmental problems, created stable jobs and sources of income from sustainable cocoa farming, improved health services and access to annual medical checks, and helped families make home improvements.

176 families have benefited from improved livelihoods and increased income, 80 women workers are now at work, and 60 of them are female heads of the household. Together, local people and the partners are working toward a sustainable vision for rural Colombia.  


Investment type

Compañía Colombiana de Cacao - Montescuro - Agrow - Estrategia comercial



Media contact:

Gustavo Andrade Reginato, Dirección Desarrollo Sostenible, ISA,