In addition to its unique biodiversity, the protected area is culturally significant for indigenous communities and contains one of the oldest, largest, and densest archaeological pictographic complexes in the Americas. Fifty murals made up of more than 70,000 ancient paintings depicting animals, hunting, battle, and dancing—some more than 20,000 years old—can be found across the region’s many tepuis, table-top rock formations that rise out of the dense forest.
The park has been a protected area since 1989 and is the ninth World Heritage listing in Colombia, the second-most biodiverse country in the world after Brazil. Chiribiquete’s new designation will help strengthen protections around the park, providing critical buffers against deforestation throughout the Amazon’s essential wildlife corridors.
Protecting Chiribiquete’s future
In recent years, climate change and deforestation from expanding agricultural production, land speculation, and illegal timber extraction—driven especially by political unrest—have been ever-present threats to Colombia’s forests. Sixty-six percent of the country’s deforestation now occurs in the Amazon—one of 11 regions in the world facing the highest risk of deforestation.
WWF experts estimate that if current deforestation trends continue, more than a quarter of the Amazon forest will be lost by 2030.