The Dangers of Change: Postconflict Brings Major Environmental Risks for La Macarena One of the Planet’s Most Biodiverse Regions
Peace brings hope and also destruction to La Macarena. Without the threat of rifles, environmental rules have lost strength. In the last two summers fishing has multiplied and everyone has taken advantage of it to expand their land.
La Macarena has an exceptional biological wealth. With more fertile soil than that in the lower Amazonia, it supports a treasure trove of vegetation that allows a broad variety of fauna in high densities. In a single space coexist several species of monkeys – as maiceros, howlers, marimbas and churucos – and even several troops of each species. Biologists studied these primates for 16 years: they built stories of each group, detailed their behavior and reported, for example, that churucos are essential for the health of the forest because they disperse the seeds of 150 plant species. They also studied paujiles, dantas and ants, and took data on the succession and composition of the forest, gathering a wealth of knowledge that made the center recognized in the world of research on tropical ecology.
FARC and the communities established a strict ban on the hunting of tapir and paujil and limited that of other species. These measures, sustained for 20 years, paid off. Maybe that’s why the Manaos, that huge herd of wild pigs-up to 200 individuals-disappeared in the 1980s. But that powerful symbol of the jungle is again threatened. El Espectador