Jose Manuel Salazar
Mr. Salazar, who is also known as Don Manuel, is a small-scale farmer who has created a small forest on his farm which he uses to teach afforestation and agroforestry to students and the community.
In 1988 he was honoured with the "Roble de Oro" Award of Colombia's Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and Environment. His work is a model for peasant farmers worldwide.
Jorge Ignacio Hernandez Camacho
Dr Camacho's promotion of environmental awareness has contributed greatly to the establishment of the National Parks System. His 30-year public concern for Colombia's wildlife and natural resources is reflected in his scientific publications which have provided important models for conservation activities in forests, ecosystems, wildlife and water management activities.
Legeia Gonzalez L.
Legeia Gonzalez, Project Manager of the Foundation for the Research and Protection of the Environment, has organized workshops, seminars and other activities for grassroots groups in Colombia's Middle Pacific Region to teach groups about environmentally-safe technologies and systems.
Gonzalez and her group have helped women pursue income-generating activities using new environment-friendly labour-saving technologies. The Colombian communities are now using the rain forest as "extract reserves" to obtain what they need from the forest without interfering with the basic ecological processes.
Mr. Gonzalo Palomino pioneered the environmental movement in Colombia.
The Ecological Group of the University of Tolima, which he coordinated, began 20 years ago, and since then he has encouraged, inspired, and trained many people who are now committed to protecting the environment.
The Network of Natural Reserves of the Civil Society of Colombia which currently represents 54 private natural reserves and around 15,000 hectares of forest dedicated to conservation, environmental education and sustainable development is a strong supporter of Mr. Palomino's activities.
Herederos del Planeta
Herederos del Planeta (Inheritors of the Planet) is a Colombian youth programme designed by the Red de Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil, an environmental network linking 85 reserves throughout the country. Herederos addressed the issue of inter-generational justice and aims to: motivate and train young people; create environmentally conscious and dedicated global citizens; and prepare future generations for the struggle to preserve the environment and the continuity of species. It has about 100 activists and more than 500 highly motivated followers. The most enthusiastic candidates are selected in each region and offered basic environmental training on the functioning of ecosystems. Exchanges are organized among the various nuclei around the country during school holidays, to provide motivation and to exchange experiences. Each nucleus organizes its own fund raising ventures to meet the costs of its activities. The Network today has a seed fund for small projects. Each member also publicizes the programme and its activities, excursions and courses among his/her schoolmates. The Sibundoy Valley Group collected funds to purchase a marsh area and turned it into a nature reserve so as to conserve a water source feeding into the local aqueduct. Each year, creative competitions are sponsored by Herederos in each region to solve a given environmental problem. Members of the organization are also invited to training events held by the Reserves Network.