Colombia is defined as one of the “megadiverse” countries on our planet, hosting close to ten percent of Earth's biodiversity. Worldwide, it ranks first in bird and orchid species diversity and second in the diversity of plants, butterflies, freshwater fishes and amphibians. Colombia possesses a rich complexity of 314 types of ecosystems, resulting in a large diversification of ecological, climatic, biological and ecosystemic elements. The country has areas with particularly high biological diversity in the Andean ecosystems, the Amazon rainforests, and the humid ecosystems in the Chocó biogeographical area, characterized by a significant number of endemic species.
This abundance in biodiversity represents a distinct challenge when it comes to implementing sustainable development initiatives. Additionally, many of these natural ecosystems have been transformed for agriculture, primarily in the Andean and Caribbean regions. It has been estimated that almost 95% of Colombia's dry forests have been reduced significantly, including close to 70% of those in the Andean region. About two percent of the Colombian mainland is covered by moorlands, which is considered an important ecosystem that aids in the well-being of the surrounding communities because they provide a strong source of water for more than three-quarters of the population in these areas.
Xiomara Acevedo, Sofia Mateus, Mitchel Zuluaga, Catalina Concha and Valeria Montenegro created GYBN Colombia and in support to other Colombian youths were determined to inspire others to engage in nature conservation efforts and in preserving the ecosystems in Colombia, and to spread awareness about the fundamental principles of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) and the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). GYBN Colombia's goals are to promote spaces where young people can learn and exchange their knowledge about CBD processes, SDGs, ancestral knowledge, and sustainable use of biodiversity. GYBN Colombia is additionally providing spaces for Colombian youth to participate in decision-making and advocacy nationally and internationally, and support youth in public forums so that they can promote the conservation of biodiversity through the harmonious relationship between the human well-being and nature practices.