the Aichi Biodiversity Targets were established. The latter were designed to encourage actions that halt biodiversity loss and thus ensure resilient ecosystems that supply essential services by the year 2020. More specifically, Target 11 promotes conservation through protected areas and other conservation strategies that may contribute with functional and structural complementarity and connectivity of systems of protected areas (in Colombia, National System of Protected Areas, or SINAP for its initials in Spanish).
A variety of entities in Colombia have advanced on the subject and have proposed and designated a series of complementary conservation strategies (CCS)These are defined as "geographic areas--effectively and equally administered, with ecological representativeness, well connected and integrated to the landscape--where different interests and administration and management schemes converge"1. Such definition encompasses a broad variety of figures, from protected municipal areas through community protection areas, all of them sharing the characteristic of not belonging to the SINAP. But not all the figures that are not part of the SINAP are a CCS, and this uncertain organization is an important challenge for the country1.
International designations are an example CCS, and they include Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar), Biosphere Reserves, Important Bird Areas (IBAs), and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Colombia is part of the Ramsar Convention and contains six sites in its territory. The country also participates in the Global Network of Biosphere Reserves, with a total of five reserves, and has eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 124 Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Additionally, the tentative list of World Heritage Sites includes the first cultural and natural declaration process for Colombia, in Alto Ricaurte, Boyacá. These areas, although not always restricted for use, are opportunities for combining efforts and improving biodiversity management. Consequently, CCS should be prioritized and cared for according to their importance and international recognition.
CCS demonstrate that conservation must not be limited to protected areas2 because other strategies may also be effective3. Therefore, Colombia must continue to conceptualize, standardize, and position CCS as areas that contribute to biodiversity conservation based on other forms of governance.