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Colombia takes the lead in climate diplomacy ahead of the COP16 summit

Colombia will host the 2024 United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP16) summit, convening over 13,000 delegates to address the pressing challenges facing our planet's biodiversity and develop concrete actions to stop and reverse the loss of nature. Held in Cali, Colombia from October 21 to November 1, COP16 will be the first Biodiversity COP since the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 in Canada in December 2022.

As the heart of the Valle del Cauca, Cali lies at the crossroads of three major biogeographic regions in Colombia – home to 10% of the planet’s biodiversity and the Amazon rainforest, a crucial carbon sink for the climate.

COP16’s emblem, the Flower of Inírida, symbolizes hope for lasting harmony with nature, a theme echoed by Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development Susana Muhamad. In an interview with Foreign Policy, she emphasized that protecting nature “should become a strategic interest of countries from the Global South” and asserted that the “old rules of the economy” need to change for developing countries to meet their environmental goals. These include rules about sovereign debt and the conditions for climate-related loans.


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