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"Join Us in the Creation of a Global Strategy for the Defense of Paramos": President Duque

· When speaking before the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), President Iván Duque stressed that “just as we have led actions to protect the Amazon, tropical forests and oceans, we want to convene all the nations of the planet so that we protect high mountain ecosystems.”

· “The call extends to the nations of the world to contribute resources and that we understand that the protection of the moors is a universal duty,” he stressed.

· Likewise, the Head of State explained the progress made by his Government in the protection of biodiversity. He recalled that Colombia stands out for being the second country in the world with the highest biodiversity per square kilometer and is fortunate to have 50% of the planet’s moors, in the middle of a territory in which 30% corresponds to the Amazon rainforest.


Bogotá, September 22, 2020

With the aim of guaranteeing the survival and sustainability of the world’s moors, the President of the Republic, Iván Duque Márquez, invited world leaders on Tuesday to accompany the creation of a Global Strategy for the Defense of the Paramos. Paramos are high mountain ecosystems.

“Colombia is home to half of the world’s paramos, and today I invite you to join us in creating a Global Strategy for the Defense of the Paramos, with which we guarantee the survival of these ecosystems and the sustainability of the communities that inhabit them,” he said.

The announcement was made by the Head of State during his speech at the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), which this year takes place virtually. President Duque stressed that “the call extends to the nations of the world to contribute resources and that we understand that the protection of the moors is a universal duty.”

“Just as we have led actions to protect the Amazon, tropical forests and oceans, Colombia calls on all the nations of the planet to protect high mountain ecosystems,” he stressed.

Advances in the protection of biodiversity

During his speech, President Duque explained the progress made by his Government in the protection of biodiversity. He recalled that Colombia stands out for being the second country in the world with the highest biodiversity per square kilometer and is fortunate to have 50% of the paramos of the planet, in the middle of a territory in which 30% corresponds to the Amazon rainforest.

“Colombia has achieved a cumulative reduction of 30.9 million tons of CO2, and we have fought against deforestation like at no other time in the history of our country, so we include the defense of the environment as a purpose of national security,” he said.

Likewise, he recalled that during the last two years, deforestation has been reduced by 19%.

“We have recovered more than 6,000 hectares of the National Natural Parks and prevented 23,000 hectares of forest from being deforested, while we planted more than 35 million trees, approaching our goal of 180 million trees planted by August 2022,” he said.

Regarding renewable energy, the Head of State pointed out that this is one of the aspects in which the country has made great progress.

“While in 2018 we had 30 megawatts of capacity connected to the national grid, today we have expanded almost five times that capacity, and reached more than 140 additional megawatts, and with the goal of continuing to grow it,” so that “in 2022 our country exceeds 2,200 megabytes,” he stressed.

Next, he ratified his commitment to make the Minamata Convention a reality and recalled that as a Nation “the Law that prohibits the use of asbestos, as well as the promotion of the use of electric vehicles, was achieved.”

“We are waiting for the approval by the Congress of the Republic of the so-called Escazú Agreement, which we signed at the end of last year,” he said.

The Leticia Pact

Additionally, he indicated that through the Leticia Pact, which was signed by seven countries, a concrete action plan is implemented, “which today contains 52 specific actions for the conservation and sustainable development of the Amazon, recognizing its importance as an ecosystem strategic for the planet.”

He added that “Colombia has successfully encouraged more than 2,800 families in the Amazon to utilize livestock conversion projects and produce non-timber elements.”

Finally, he pointed out that with the Leticia Pact, more than 17,000 indigenous families have benefited from governance and sustainable economy projects, while 15,000 are under Payment for Environmental Services schemes, covering about 219,000 hectares, which makes said Pact “a demonstration of what we are achieving by dreaming of the future.”

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