Colombia: new plan imperils Amazon

National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.

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National University of Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.

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The Colombian government approved a new National Development Plan in March that could increase the country’s deforestation to 280,000 hectares annually from 2018 to 2022. As well as flying in the face of expectations for socio-economic and environmental improvements after Colombia’s armed conflict ceased in 2016, this plan has implications beyond Colombia.

The northwest region of the Amazon is the wettest, so the increase in deforestation stands to destroy the water cycle of the whole basin and therefore the entire Amazonian ecosystem. As far as we know, the government has no plans to control this exploitation of resources.

Such misuse of land will continue unabated, particularly in rural areas where biodiversity is richest, until environmental policies are reformed, state control is enforced and society has a voice in decisions and in policymaking.

Nature 569, 487 (2019)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01615-7
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