David Santiago Rocha Cárdenas is a Colombian ecologist currently working on decarbonization strategies based on natural climate solutions. He has been part of the Laboratory of Ecosystems and Climate Change (LECC) at the Pontifical Xavierian University for six years. LECC studies the potential of ecosystems in climate change mitigation. He has experience coordinating projects related to the study of the carbon cycle in the Colombian paramo, the generation of ecosystem restoration policies, and other tasks such as greenhouse gas flux measurements in wetlands. He started coordinating his first restoration project with the community of Paramo El Almorzadero, located north of the eastern cordillera of the Andes.
About the project: This project aims to restore 3 hectares of high mountain peatlands located in Páramo el Almorzadero in the municipality of El Cerrito Santander in the northeastern branch of the Andes Cordillera of Colombia. The peat bogs located in the Páramo have been drained for sheep livestock activities, leading to the loss of their functionality and ecosystem services. This has affected the supply of water resources for the community and released thousands of tons of methane gas into the atmosphere. The purpose of this project is to isolate peat bogs to prevent goats from entering the water bodies, to recover the vegetation cover, and to restore water flow. These activities are conducted in the hope of increasing ecosystem services, reducing methane and carbon dioxide emissions, increasing carbon accumulation, and empowering local communities to manage their projects and generate carbon credits that ensure their future sustainability and scalability.