PREDICT Work Completed
Colombia is the fourth largest economy in South America, and despite its relatively small size, is the second most biologically diverse country on Earth and home to about 10 percent of the world's species. Colombia is also in the area of two hotspots located in the Americas: the Tropical Andes and Tumbes-Choco-Magdalenaboth with only 25% and 24%, respectively, of the original forest cover remaining.
Currently, the environmental challenges faced by Colombia are caused by both natural events and man-made change. Many natural disasters result from Colombia's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and the consequent geological instability results in earthquakes. Heavy floods both in mountainous areas and in low-lying watersheds and coastal regions linked to El Niño-Southern Oscillation also occur regularly as human-induced deforestation has substantially changed the Andean landscape spanning into the rainforests of Amazonia and the Pacific coast. Deforestation is also linked to the conversion of lowland tropical forests to oil palm plantations. Demand from rapidly expanding cities has placed increasing stress on the water supply, as watersheds are affected and groundwater tables fall.