With the second highest level of biodiversity per square km of any nation, Colombia is one of the world’s seventeen megadiverse countries. However, national forest accounts highlight intense deforestation caused by expanding agricultural and livestock grazing.
A total of 140,356 hectares of forest cover was lost in Colombia in 2014 versus 120,934 hectares in 2013 (IDEAM 2015). Although absolute poverty was reduced in the last decade, Colombia remains one of the most unequal countries in the world with regards income distribution, in particular due to a highly concentrated land ownership. As a result, the rural population, particularly affected by the consequences of land degradation, accounts for around 64 per cent of the country’s poor. The agricultural resilience of this population is likely to be worsened by climate change, as its impacts on glaciers will affect water supply, and El Niño events will increase the frequency of extreme weather events.