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Colombia targets reforestation growth

Colombia targets reforestation growth

Colombia’s Environment Minister Susana Muhamad during COP27. Photo credit: Reuters / Emilie Madi.

By Anders Lorenzen

When talking about the Amazon rainforest, most of us think of Brazil. This without realizing that the bordering country, Colombia, has a fair share of the world’s largest tropical forest.

And in a green push, the government of Colombia has announced an ambitious reforestation target. By 2026 it wants to reforest an area of 750,000 hectares.

President Gustavo Petro, who has been in power since August last year, has pledged to lead an ambitious green agenda focused on reduced deforestation, a transition away from fossil fuels and protection of water resources.

Reforestation growth

Its new reforestation target is nearly six times higher than that of the previous government. The target aims to restore 187,500 hectares each year for four years. However, they offered little detail of where the reforestation projects would take place; or the cost – though it will be budgeted for within the government’s proposed $250 billion national development plan.

Alongside this, the government has also announced a revised plan to limit deforestation to 140,000 hectares a year by the end of its tenure. However, this is less ambitious than the reduction to 100,000 hectares per year, agreed upon in 2019 by the previous government.

But adding the reforestation and deforestation targets together, we get a sum of up to a net forest cover growth of 47,500 hectares each year for at least the next four years.

After taking power early this year, Brazil’s new president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, has made reducing deforestation levels one of his top priorities. 

Environmentalists around the world will be hoping efforts made by Brazil and Colombia will cause those nations finally to embark on the serious process of reversing deforestation in the Amazon This although scientists are warning that we could already have caused irreversible damage to the ‘lungs of the Earth’.

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