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On February 13, President Juan Manuel Santos and his cabinet, gathered for the Council for Ministers, became enthused by the proposal that Martin von Hildebrand has been working on with Gaia Amazonas and colleagues from Brazil (ISA and Imazon) and Venezuela (Wataniba). The proposal envisions the world’s largest biological corridor. It would mean safeguarding 135 million hectares, of which 34% corresponds to Colombia, 62% to Brazil, and 4% to Venezuela. Click here to view the interactive map.
This corridor aims to make a signficant contribution to mitigating climate change impacts, preserving biological and cultural diversity, and connecting the Andean, Amazonian and Atlantic and ecosystems.
Martín, founder of Gaia Amazonas, has worked alongside national government since the 1980s for the successful legal recognition of 26 million hectares of the Colombian Amazon, protected under the figure of indigenous ‘resguardos’ (territories). This same vision is behind what is being termed the ‘Triple A Corridor’. It is a viable plan, given that 80% of the corridor already exists as a mosaic of protected areas and indigenous territories. Of the 20% remaining, 10% is around the Chiribiquete National Natural Park in Colombia, and the other 10% in the region of Roraima in Brazil, and both could be protected under a special figure of flexible management that harmonizes socio-economic needs with the conservation of ecosystems.
The goal for this year is to sign an agreement between Colombia, Brazil and Venezuela – at COP 21, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris this December – to create the ecological corridor and approve a 5-year action plan for its consolidation.
More than a tri-partite commitment, it is an example and a solution that South American countries are giving to the world in the fight against climate change.