The Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment have signed an interministerial alliance in Colombia to conserve the Amazon. Government spokespersons have emphasized the importance of peasants, indigenous peoples, and black communities within the alliance to conserve the Amazon, one of the world’s ‘green lungs’.
To this end, the two departments of the Colombian government have signed an Agreement for the Amazon, with the aim of “guaranteeing the territorial and collective rights of the communities that inhabit this region, dignifying their lives, strengthening agricultural production, and preserving the forests, the environment, and water in the region,” as stated by the alliance.
The goal is to combat deforestation and “ensure access to land for farmers, indigenous peoples, and communities in the region.” With this idea, one of the most important points supported by President Gustavo Petro is highlighted: putting the use of land in the hands of peasants, as the president advocated in his government program.
Key points of the interministerial alliance:
The joint agreement between the Departments of Environment and Agriculture highlights several key points. Among them is the initiative to curb deforestation and ensure the presence of peasant communities as guardians of forest reserves.
It also includes the advancement of Forest Development and Biodiversity Nuclei, as well as land titling in the agricultural frontier, which is considered a fundamental part of the Agrarian Reform in the Amazon. Other important elements include: the importance of collective rights to the environment and that the rights of nature are recognized.
The creation of a Governance Board is proposed to monitor actions related to territorial planning around water. They also commit to complying with precautionary measures in the restitution lawsuit of the Nukak people and the Llanos del Yari Yaguara II reserve. The consolidation of Peasant Reserve Zones is presented as a strategy to combat deforestation, recognizing peasant governance and the forest vocation of land use.
Additionally, efforts are made to improve the lives of peasants through initiatives such as payment for environmental services, the Amazon Forest Incentive, promoting sustainable peasant livestock, and a national agroecology program, among other actions. The regulation of Peasant Forest Concessions and the promotion of connectivity between the Andes-Amazon and Orinoco-Amazon corridors are also integral parts of the agreement.