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Peace with nature: helping former Colombian guerrilla fighters to become citizen scientists

Source: theconversation.com

Colombia is the second most biodiverse country in the world with more than 56,000 recorded species, some 9,000 of which are unique. However protecting and researching this natural treasure has been extraordinarily difficult during Colombia’s nearly 55 years of internal conflict.

Since the 2016 peace agreement 21 scientific bio-expeditions have been carried out, most in areas that were previously conflict zones. This has led to the discovery of more than 150 new animal and plant species.

This flowering of research offers a new opportunity to the thousands of ex-combatants now looking for productive and peaceful work. We worked with former guerrillas in our project GROW-Colombia to train them to protect Colombia’s biodiversity. MORE

Header image: Jaime Gongora led workshops with former guerrillas on the promise of biodiversity. Credit: Mario Murcia, Author provided.

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