Knowledge Generation

Amongst its missionary tasks, Terrasos has technical and specialized knowledge in various fields. In this context, we support research, we promote knowledge disclosure and dissemination and we offer consulting services to all our clients. Among the main research publications, reports and material published by Terrasos team members and collaborators are:

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Monitoring and follow-up to aggregated schemes of environmental offsets

Mariana Sarmiento, Alexis López y Felipe Osorio - TERRASOS - 2020.

To maximize the positive impacts in biodiversity that result from the compensation obligations and the water usage investments of no less than 1%, it is vital to strengthen certain aspects related to its effective implementation. In the case of the aggregated schemes for offsets (such as Habitat Banks and Bosques de Paz), the follow-up, monitoring and accountability of action, as well as the use of technological platforms, are key to achieve effective results. Therefore, this publication does a review of international referents and the case study of Colombia’s first Habitat Bank, with the purpose of identifying the advantages and restrictions that the legal framework and practice exert on this type of initiatives to finally offer a series of recommendations that would speed the execution of the aggregated offsets and thus, achieve greater environmental, economic and social gains.

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Guidelines for environmental offsets in ethnic territories


This publication envisages a plan to articulate the management strategies of natural resources in land of indigenous and black communities, with the compensatory obligations of companies with activities in surrounding areas. This document is meant to be a contribution to the debate on this subject and for it to become reference material for the concerned communities, the companies with compensatory obligations and the different environmental authorities, to use the model or present it to their beneficiaries. Ultimately, it is key to guarantee that the offsets secure that the communities keep the same access level to biodiversity and ecosystem services, before and after the execution of any development project.


Infographic on the progress of Habitat Banks across the world

Terrasos - 2019

Terrasos is Pioneer in structuring the scheme of Habitat Banks as a mechanism to implement biodiversity offsets in the country. This acknowledgment responds to the thorough research of innovative and cost-benefit strategies that improve the environmental conditions of the territories, and allow the fulfillment of the companies’ obligations to their projects. From 2014, and as part of this work, Terrasos has been monitoring the evolution of this scheme where it has had the highest acceptance, indicated on the infographic. There is mention of the development in the implementation of the Habitat Banks in countries such as the U.S. Australia, Germany, UK, Spain, France and Colombia, where there is a high focus on the areas under this scheme, the projected times, the guarantees, the legal aspects, the price of credits and the concerned actors.  


Habitat Banks: Mechanism for the implementation of biotic offsets

Mariana Sarmiento, Eduardo del Valle, Alexis López, Felipe Osorio, Juan Esteban Hincapié y María Isabel Vieira Muñoz - THE NATURE CONSERVANCY (TNC), TERRASOS, MINAMBIENTE Y BID FOMIN - 2018

Considering the need to orient the implementation of the Habitat Banks for the different actors involved, this guide aims to resolve the main questions about its implementation regarding the compensations of the biotic component and the requirements of the compulsory investment of no less than 1% for water usage. In particular, emphasis is placed on the basic concepts related to this mechanism, the benefits they generate, and the requirements and procedures to establish them. Similarly, there is reference to its operation, to the way in which follow-up and monitoring must be carried out, as well as the process to be followed if it is to comply with a biotic compensation or an investment of 1% through the Habitat Banks. Finally, the minimum content that a Compensation Plan associated with this mechanism must have is indicated, just as the roles and responsibilities that the involved actors must assume.

Legal Considerations on Land Tenure in Colombia's Emerging Environmental Markets

Eduardo del Valle Mora, Mariana Sarmiento, Juan Pablo del Valle Mora, Ricardo Alexis López y Natalia Abello - FUNDEPÚBLICO - 2017.

This practical guide becomes a consultation tool for projects involving properties that are the subject of environmental transactions. In this way, it is intended to meet the growing demand raised by environmental markets, as well as to overcome some of the difficulties that currently arise in the implementation of PES-type schemes, biodiversity offsets and investments aimed at conserving water resources. This work is part of the project “Strengthening the legal, financial and natural resource management structures for reciprocal ecosystem service agreements”, funded by the MacArthur Foundation and implemented by Fundepúblico, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Fondo Acción.

Considerations of emerging environmental markets in Colombia

Lucas Buitrago, Eduardo del Valle Mora, Padu Franco, Luisa Fernanda Lema, Ricardo Alexis López, Daniela Morales, Tatiana Núñez y Mariana Sarmiento - FUNDEPÚBLICO, WCS y FONDO ACCIÓN - 2017.

This publication resumes each of the problems associated with environmental markets, proposing the following solutions: i) Transparency and timeliness of information; ii) Accuracy in requirements or obligations; iii) Land tenure and use

Monitoring, verification and control; and iv) Creation of demand in voluntary schemes. Finally, to conclude the analysis, the publication points out some cross-cutting elements, the lack of which is significant for the consolidation of the markets.

Diagnosis of emerging environmental markets in Colombia

Lucas BuitragoAlexis López, Mariana Sarmiento - FUNDEPÚBLICO, WCS y FONDO ACCIÓN - 2016.


Environmental markets are intended to generate economic alternatives that benefit communities, companies and governments, in order to conserve biodiversity, improve water quality, fix carbon, among other activities. This diagnosis contributes to understanding the magnitude and potential of these markets, as well as allowing the identification of bottlenecks and opportunities related to the flow of private and public resources towards effective conservation. The study was carried out from the information supplied and compiled with environmental authorities, control entities, private companies, unions, research institutes, non-governmental organizations and specialists.

Habitat Bank - Meta Operational Manual

Mariana Sarmiento, Eduardo del Valle, Alfredo Navas, Wayne White, Terry Anderson, Santiago Pinzón, Alexis López - TERRASOS SAS - 2016.

Terrasos developed the Operational Manual for the first Habitat Bank in the country. This research aims to disclose a new way of carrying out biodiversity compensation. Activities of ecosystem preservation, improvement or restoration are carried out in the Habitat Bank. The Habitat Bank of Meta is located in the municipality of San Martín de los Llanos in the department of Meta, in the sub-basin of the Metica River. Its extension is approximately 1,500 hectares and includes Natural Forests and Orinoquia Savannas. This project has been built with international and national experts. The international team has an experience of more than twenty years in biodiversity offsets schemes under payment for performance.


Infographics: Towards a system of habitat banks in Colombia

Mariana Sarmiento y Alexis López - FUNDEPÚBLICO, TERRASOS SAS, WCS - 2015.

This infographic summarizes the aspects that must be considered to achieve good implementation of the Habitat Banks in Colombia. This is based on lessons learned and recommendations from the experience of countries such as the United States, Germany, France, Australia, England and Spain. Among these aspects, the need to have a unit of measurement of losses and gains of biodiversity or biodiversity credit is highlighted, which would correspond to the unit that would be negotiated between the promoter of the habitat bank and the impact generators. In addition to this, several considerations are indicated on the legal processes and procedures that must be implemented to ensure the permanence and sustainability of the Habitat Banks, as well as the financial mechanisms required to provide transparency and efficiency. As part of this work, an additional infographic was also made presenting the evolution of Habitat Banks at the international level. See here.


Towards Habitat Banks as an environmental offset tool in Colombia

Mariana Sarmiento y Alexis López - FUNDEPÚBLICO, TERRASOS SAS, WCS - 2015.

Fundepúblico opens the discussion on habitat banks as a tool for biodiversity compensations in Colombia. In other countries, habitat banks have shown to make biodiversity offsets processes more efficient to the extent that they allow the establishment of restoration and conservation areas before impacts are generated, they also speed up compliance with compensation measures by the impact generators and, simultaneously, facilitate control and surveillance by environmental authorities.

Guidelines for the design of a compensation plan on loss of biodiversity

Mariana Sarmiento, William Cardona, Ray Victurine, Alexis López, Andrea Carneiro, Padu Franco, Marcela Jiménez - WCS y FUNDEPÚBLICO - 2015.

The guidelines presented in this document are intended to improve the way in which biodiversity offsets are being developed in the country. These were developed taking into account the requirements established by the Manual de Asignaciones por Pérdida de Biodiversidad (Biodiversity Loss Allocations Manual), as well as a series of international good practices. The publication intends to generate a guidelines proposal for the design of compensation plans. Thus, we seek to provide feedback on what is proposed in the Manual since, according to the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS for its name in Spanish), this instrument has a management cycle that allows for the inclusion of additional developments that strengthen its implementation.