Women for Conservation

Women for Conservation Successfully Intervenes to Halt Illegal Logging of the Chocó Rainforest

A forest guard surveys damage left behind after illegal logging
in El Pangán Reserve.

During the month of November, Women for Conservation took action against illegal logging in the El Pangán Reserve in the Colombian Chocó rainforest by launching an ambitious donation campaign. With two semi-sized truckloads of timber from the precious Chanul tree being removed from the reserve each day, Women for Conservation needed to respond quickly. 

The Chocó rainforest is one of the wettest ecosystems on earth and home to an incredibly diverse community of flora and fauna. The El Pangán Reserve alone protects 360 species of birds, 25 species of frogs, 94 species of butterflies, and a population of Vulnerable Chanul trees. Unfortunately, once Chanul trees are cut down, restoring the forest ecosystem to prior levels of biodiversity is oftentimes impossible because of the difficulty of cultivating these trees from seed. Thankfully, Women for Conservation stepped in to protect these irreplaceable trees as well as the many species that make their home beneath the forest canopy.

The Long-wattled Umbrellabird, or Pangán,
for which the reserve is named. Photo by Hectonichus.

To protect this area of critical habitat for threatened and endangered species, we set strategic goals including expanding the acreage of El Pangán Reserve, sponsoring a new forest guard, and purchasing much needed supplies. Our supporters answered the urgent call to help protect the Chocó, going above and beyond to help us exceed our donation goal. Generous supporters enabled us to meet all of our original goals, and fund a year’s salary for not one, but two, forest guards. “These new employees will play a critical role in patrolling and protecting the newly expanded El Pangán Reserve from the threat of illegal logging,” said Women for Conservation’s Executive Director, Sara Lara, “ensuring the rainforest and the unique biodiversity of the Chocó are preserved for generations to come.” 

Women for Conservation would like to thank all who helped make this exciting work possible! Together we have made strides in conserving rainforest habitat and protecting vulnerable wildlife. 

If you would like to support our other projects, check out our ongoing campaigns here.

With your help we can empower women and protect the planet!

Header image: The Imbabura Treefrog is one of many amphibian species dependent on rainforest ecosystems like the Chocó.

Article by Lizzie Rose, Communications and Outreach Intern