According to the FAO (2020), Colombia has around 59.1 million hectares of forested land, which constitutes to 51.8% of the total land area. Almost the full extent of the forest cover is primary forest or naturally regenerated forest, and only 427,000 hectares (0.72%) is planted forest (ITTO 2011).
About two million hectares of forests were lost between 2000 and 2007, and in recent years deforestation increased again with estimates of around 320,000 ha of natural forest loss in 2020 (Global Forest Watch). Deforestation is not evenly distributed over the Colombian territory, and is highest in the Amazon, the Andean, the Caribbean, and the Pacific regions. Between 2008 and 2019, more than 40 percent of the country’s forest exports were found to be illegal are illegal (GFI 2021).
The main cause of deforestation is conversion for agriculture (IDEAM 2015). To slow down deforestation, Colombia is implementing a conservation policy and launched the “Vision Amazonia” in 2016, to stop deforestation in the Amazon region by the year 2021 (see further MiNAM 2021a).