A new report says deforestation in Colombia increased considerably in 2016, with over a third of deforestation occurring in FARC concentration zones created as part of the country's historic peace process, raising questions about the environmental impacts of the guerrilla demobilization.
A total of 178,597 hectares of land were deforested in Colombia in 2016, according to a new report from Colombia's Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies Institute (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales - IDEAM). This figure represents a 44 percent increase from the 124,035 hectares of land deforested in 2015. Insight Crime
The Forests for Peace in Colombia seek to plant one tree for every one of the over 8 million victims of the Colombian civil war, a staggering figure that includes the dead, the disappeared, and the displaced over the course of close to 60 years of one of the world's longest civil wars and which is coming to an end since peace became a reality this year. El Tiempo
Peace brings hope and also destruction to La Macarena. Without the threat of rifles, environmental rules have lost strength. In the last two summers fishing has multiplied and everyone has taken advantage of it to expand their land. [...] FARC and the communities established a strict ban on the hunting of tapir and paujil and limited that of other species. These measures, sustained for 20 years, paid off. Maybe that's why the Manaos, that huge herd of wild pigs-up to 200 individuals-disappeared in the 1980s. But that powerful symbol of the jungle is again threatened. El Espectador
After clearly defining the goals, the main challenges are the problems left by the war. Now that there's peace, you can think of the territory in its entirety, but doing so involves a lot of infrastructure investment. Green growth must be developed throughout the country, that is, an immense allocation of resources is needed -- human, technical and financial resources. There are areas that need to be supplied with services, schools, hospitals, health centers. And that is not an easy job. This is the time to connect the territories that have been isolated by the armed conflict and then it will time to conquer those areas in terms of sustainable development. El Espectador
Our new report Defenders of the Earth found that nearly four people were murdered every week in 2016 protecting their land and the natural world from industries like mining, logging and agribusiness. In Colombia, killings hit an all-time high, despite – or perhaps because – of the recently signed peace deal between the government and the guerrilla group, the FARC. Areas previously under guerrilla control are now eyed enviously by extractive companies and paramilitaries, while returning communities are attacked for reclaiming land stolen from them during half a century of conflict. Story on Global Witness. Download report.
"The Colombian Red Cross has sent specialized personnel who have immediately begun to provide assistance to a population mercilessly hit by the destructive force of nature: Health; Search and Rescue; Water and Sanitation; Management of Corpses; Psychosocial Support; Restoring Family Contacts (RCF); Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (EDAN); Administrative support; K-SAR teams (search and rescue with canines); Communications; Telecommunications, according to the international agency on its website." With the program Litros que ayudan, you can donate water. El Molino Online