He Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development agreed with the four indigenous peoples of the Sierra to expand the area of protection of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park.
With this decision, more than 172,000 hectares become Natural National Park, which is the strictest conservation category in the country, and the State reaches more than 49 million protected hectares, which consolidates Colombia as a World Power of Life.
“This is a historic decision with the four towns of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, with the purpose of safeguarding the water, the survival of the towns and, above all, protecting it from mining and large infrastructure works and large-scale agriculture. in this national reserve, not only environmental, but also cultural of the country”, highlighted the Minister of the Environment, Susana Muhamad.
In the same context, the minister added: “Responsible nature tourism must be carried out and this activity must be articulated with the communities.”
The expansion of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park is taking place in the municipalities of Aracataca, Ciénaga, Fundación and Santa Marta, in the department of Magdalena; Dibulla, in La Guajira; Pueblo Bello and Valledupar, in Cesar, with an approximate area of 172,458.3 hectares.
In this regard, the director of National Natural Parks, Luis Olmedo, asserted that now an ecological restoration process will begin with the communities and a regional dialogue process because national parks belong to all Colombians.
“We are going to have a very active dialogue with the regional and municipal systems of protected areas, but in a very concrete way three great processes are coming: restoration, education and strengthening of organizations and social dialogue,” he stressed.
Among the conservation objectives of the area are to protect and conserve the ancestral territory of the Kogui (Kággaba), Arhuaco (Iku), Wiwa and Kankuamo peoples in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Natural Park, to ensure the integrity and survival of the cultures ancestral.
In 1979 the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta was declared by Unesco as a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
According to the Unique Registry of Protected Areas (Runap), Colombia currently has 1,552 protected areas, of which 1,123 correspond to private areas; 308 regional and 121 national.