To speak about Colombia is, perhaps, to speak of one of the most complex countries in Latin America and the world. Our history has been marked by various facts that still resound in our lives. We have gone around the world, and shared a little of our own, with music, sports, art, the letters of our writers, the tonalities of our coffee, and why not, the charisma and the overwhelming spirit of our people. Colombia is, for us, a story of various nuances, that we want to tell you from the communities and their territories.
We were born in one of the countries with the most exceptional biodiversity in the world, in our territory, there are about 78 different ecosystems, which has given Colombia a position within the group of 18 megadiverse countries of the world. The geography of our country is home to thousands of species, taking the first place in the world in terms of bird species and orchids; the second in the richness of plants, amphibians, butterflies and freshwater fish; the third in palm and reptile species; as well as the fourth in the number of mammals. Colombia is the stage where multiple life forms inhabit, and also converge different human development processes that persist in the protection of ecosystems and territories.
Thus, as a fundamental part of our national life has been marked by the events, by the stories, experiences, customs, and traditions inherited from our indigenous peoples. Living in the different ecosystems is a current reality thanks to the care and example of the approximately 102 indigenous communities that exist in the country. They live from the thickest forests to the aridest areas of our territory, and their heritage, artistic, cultural and environmental development is today a wealth that we have the duty to protect.
The cultural legacy of these ancestral communities are mainly reflected in their handicrafts and are living examples of the Colombian mega-diverse project. This involuntary project born of the cultural exchange that makes us more alive and complex, a project that calls us to contribute to the protection of our common house.