In Colombia, FSD advises the OACP, the national mine action agency, on the implementation of an effective mine action strategy.
Colombia: mine clearance operation with dogs.
Almost six decades of civil war between guerrillas, paramilitaries and government forces amid drug trafficking has left Colombia infested with artisanal mines and unexploded ordnance.
In 2015, as part of the peace negotiations, the government and the FARC non-state armed group reached a ceasefire agreement; this also helped contribute to the national strategy to clear land mines. Significant efforts have been made since with several thousand deminers deployed in the country, leading to notable advances. The goal is now for the country to be completely free of mines by 2025.
To achieve this objective, many challenges still have to be overcome, particularly in relation to the topography and vegetation in certain contaminated areas, and due to persistent insecurity. Improvised mines are still used by the remaining armed groups to protect coca plantations. In 2019, 111 mine victims were recorded, and in 2020 this figure has grown to over 140.
“The deployment of mine detection dogs seemed to be a tremendous challenge at first, but learning from FSD, we have strengthened our technical knowledge about it.”
Since 2016, a team of FSD experts have trained the Colombian mine action authority in various technical fields.
This includes advice on the overall process of land release, clearance prioritisation, technical standards and procedures, information management and protection of the environment in Colombia’s national parks.
Since 2014, more than four million Venezuelans have fled their country and an estimated 1.8 million have arrived in Colombia as refugees.
Many of these face poverty and the Covid-19 pandemic has further increased unemployment and homelessness in Colombia. This is no more evident than on the streets of Bogota.
FSD works with a local NGO to deliver thousands of meals and to provide some short relief from daily life on the streets for hundreds of vulnerable children and homeless people.
FSD in Colombia
Given the complex political and conflict history in Colombia, the importance of land restitution is paramont. Much of this process involves the land being safely cleared of land mines and explosive hazards left behind from decades of conflict. It is under this context that FSD provides specialist advice to the Colombian National Mine Action Authority.
Since 2016, FSD has provided technical experts to advise and mentor their counterparts in the Colombian national mine action authority with skills ranging from explosive ordnance disposal and mine action management experts, mine detection dog experts, mechanical clearance experts and specialists for information management and mapping of hazards. FSD’s team also provide critical input and advice to the development of national standards in order to synchronise international standards with the NGO mine clearance operators in country and the specific Colombian context.
FSD also helps protect the Amazon rainforest from the harmful effects of mine clearance. The organization indeed contributed to the development and adoption, in 2017, of a law aimed at reducing the environmental impact of humanitarian demining operations, in particular in natural parks.
centimetre by centimetre
In 2020, our deminers cleared 3.2 km² , an area equivalent to the City of London. This work requires constant concentration despite the sometimes extreme working conditions.
We are at your service
Do you have any questions about our work on the field, about fundraising or about how your donations are used?
Our team is at your disposal.
Please contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for.
+41 22 731 14 79
+41 22 562 41 92
News from the field
FSD, it’s them.
Every day, they put their courage and expertise to work to make the world a safer place. Read the testimonials and stories from our employees around the world.
In eastern Ukraine, the poverty caused by the armed conflict has led many people to collect and sell scrap metal to earn a little more money. This is a risky activity, which exposes them to landmines and unexploded ordnance. One day someone brought me an old bucket...
Some time ago, FSD was invited to visit a sixth-grade class at the Florimont Institute in Geneva to talk to students about humanitarian demining. After the presentation, the children asked questions which were recorded and passed on to our deminers in the field. This...
" I take advantage of my sermons to talk about unexploded ordnance " Joselito Remedios, 54, is a pastor and an explosive ordnance risk education provider. For the past year, he has been a member of the Fondation suisse de déminage (FSD)’s volunteer team in the...
your support is precious
Demining is a technical and time-consuming task that requires a sustained commitment over time. Want to help make the world a safer place?
Join our 7000 private donors!
Our humanitarian programs focus on four main areas.
FSD locates and clears mines and unexploded ordnance, provides explosive ordnance risk education and assists survivors of accidental explosions.
recovery & stability
FSD collaborates on research & innovation projects aiming to use new technologies, such as drones, in mine action.