Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Strengthening Capacity to Manage Ecosystems Sustainably for Human Well-Being

Ecological Function Assessment of Biodiversity in the Colombian Andean Coffee-Growing Region


The assessment will take place in the coffee growing region in Colombia. The region is located on three mountain ranges, between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea level. The main coffee region belongs to the departments of Antioquia, Qunindio, Risaralda and Caldas on the central Andes range.

Lead institution

Institutions that will be involved in the assessment include Cenicafe, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, Regional Coffee Federation Offices, the Meteorology, Hydrology & Environmental Studies Institute (Ideam), local universities and NGOs working in the area.

Contact information:

Focal issues

This assessment has four main goals: to support the development of a more representative, effective and viable Andean Protected Area System; to identify conservation opportunities in rural landscapes while developing and promoting sustainable use and management tools for biodiversity conservation; to expand, organize and disseminate the Andean biodiversity knowledge-base to stakeholders and policy-makers; and to promote inter-sectoral coordination to address root causes of biodiversity loss in the Colombian Andes.

Ecosystem services being assessed

Provisioning: coffee, other food, water quality, cultural.

Supporting and regulating: biodiversity, maintenance of soil structure and chemical properties.

Key features of assessment

Due to the wide variety of environmental conditions present in the coffee growing region, 86 ecotops with homogeneous topographic, climate and soil characteristics have been defined. These will be the local units of analysis for the assessment. The ecosystem assessment will focus the following issues: use values of ecosystem functions in coffee growing regions and their implications for policy making and planning; assessment of biodiversity in rural landscapes; and in situ conservation. The assessment will include a survey of National Parks in the Andes.

Assessment Report