Colombia sale a la calle a defender los páramos y el agua

Colombia in defense of water and the páramo high mountain ecosystems

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Motivados por el caso de Santurbán, un páramo ubicado en la región de Santander, que viene sosteniendo un proceso de resistencia ante la gran minería de oro durante ya varios años, los Colombianos fueron convocados a tomarse la calle hoy en defensa del agua y los páramos. Las principales ciudades donde hubo congregaciones de manifestantes en defensa del agua fueron Bucaramanga y Bogotá. En Bogotá asistieron colectivos y asociaciones de ciudadanos que habitan zonas próximas a estos ecosistemas, de regiones como Sumapaz, Pisba, Guerrero y Chingaza, además de bogotanos concientes de que el suministro de agua de la ciudad depende enteramente de los páramos próximos a ella. Se contó además con la importante presencia de Greenpeace y su directora Silvia Gómez, y de la senadora Claudia López de la Alianza Verde.

Los páramos son ecosistemas claves para la regulación del planeta y la producción de agua, encontrados únicamente en los países Andinos, y ubicados en las zonas de alta montaña. En Colombia, los páramos ocupan el 3% del territorio, y son responsables de la producción del 70% del agua del país, y posee el 49% de los páramos del mundo. Para el 2008, se habían realizado 986 solicitudes mineras en territorios limítrofes a Páramos, distribuidas en 27 complejos de los 34 existentes. Lo que representa 624.811 hectáreas, más o menos el 33% de zonas sobre áreas de páramo en el país. Para el 2010, según el informe de minería formal en los páramos del Instituto Von Humboldt, ya se habían otorgado 391 títulos mineros, que representan 108.902 hectáreas concesionadas.

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Los más afectados hasta el momento frente a títulos otorgados y hectáreas explotadas en el país son: Santurbán (44 títulos, 23.380 hectáreas), Pisba (88 títulos, 13.508 hectáreas), Guerrero (61 títulos, 12.072 hectáreas), Guanacas (6 títulos, 11.642 hectáreas), Puracé-Coconuco (79 títulos, 9.354 hectáreas), Tota-Bijagual-Mamapacha (17 títulos, 8.395 hectáreas), Rabanal y Río Bogotá (19 títulos, 6.715 hectáreas), Almorzadero (17 títulos, 5.937 hectáreas), Guantiva-Rusia (9 títulos, 5.619 hectáreas), Nevados, (22 títulos, 5.351 hectáreas), Chili-Barragan (3 títulos, 2.797 hectáreas), Cocuy (3 títulos, 1.979 hectáreas).

Esto se debe al fomento de la inversión extranjera promovida por el Gobierno, y a sus políticas de desarrollo basadas en un modelo minero-energético extractivista. Como consecuencia de este, se ha venido limitando la participación ciudadana en la toma de decisiones respecto a temas mineros. El estado legal de los páramos se encuentra en un momento inestable, pues a raíz de una iniciativa gubernamental de delimitar estos ecosistemas, existe ahora la controversia de si se deben “limitar” a las partes más altas de la montaña, fragmentando el ecosistema y el ciclo del recurso hídrico, o se debate si se debe al menos contar con esta medida para que se detenga la entrega de títulos en alta montaña.

Mientras se desarrollaba la marcha en Bogotá y Bucaramanga, el Ministro de Minas y otros funcionarios se encontraban en el Congreso Nacional de Minería en Cartagena que terminó con la presencia del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos y cuyo mensaje central fue que “el gobierno está absolutamente comprometido con la minería”. Su mensaje oficial niega, como se negó el paro agrario, que el país está pidiendo a gritos repensar el modelo extractivista que está feriando los recursos naturales no renovables y agotando y contaminando las fuentes de agua.

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“La minería se sigue justificando como el principal enclave de desarrollo mientras nos hacemos más dependientes de sus exportaciones. Por eso nos seguimos movilizando para exigir que primero se respete la vida y la salud, garantizando el acceso y calidad del agua”, aseguró Silvia Gómez Coordinadora de Greenpeace Colombia. “El gobierno no ha sido capaz de escuchar a campesinos, comunidades, organizaciones y ciudadanos que recorren las calles del país pidiendo cuidar el agua, respetar los recursos naturales y proteger el medio ambiente. El tiempo se agota, mientras la destrucción, la sed, y el cambio climático nos azotan”, concluyó Gómez.

IMG_5079 Referencias:

http://colombiainforma.info/politica/medio-ambiente/2271-este-24-de-abril-movilizacion-por-el-agua-colombiana

Comunicado Greenpeace Colombia: http://www.greenpeace.org/colombia/es/Noticias/Cientos-de-personas-en-la-manifestacion-Por-la-vida-y-el-Agua-tomese-la-calle/

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Motivated by the Santurbán case, a páramo located in the Santander region, Colombians where called to take a stand in the streets in defence of water and the páramo ecosystems. This region has been holding a resistance process against gold mining for a few years now. The main cities where demonstrations where held where Bucaramanga and Bogotá. In Bogotá, many associations and local organisations assisted of communities that live around these ecosystems, like the regions of Sumapaz, Pisba, Guerrero and Chinagaza, and many other people from Bogotá joined them, aware of the importance of this ecosystem for the supply of water to the city. Silvia Gómez, Director of Greenpeace Colombia and the Senator Claudia López form the Alianza Verde party, attended to this important event in the streets of the centre of the capital city.

The páramos are key ecosystems for the regulation of the planet and the water production and supply, located exclusively in the Andean countries, in the highest parts of this mountain range. In Colombia, the páramos occupy 3% of the territory; they are responsible for 70% of the water, and Colombia possess 49% of the páramos in the World. For 2008, 986 requests for mining licences in territories adjacent to paramos where made, distributed in 27 complexes of the 34 páramo regions that exist. This represents 624,811 hectares, around 33% of the páramo areas in the country. For 2010, 391 of this exploitation licences where granted, according to the report done by the he Von Humboldt Institute.

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The most affected areas by granted exploitation tittles and hectares of exploitation are: Santurbán (44 tittles, 23.380 hectares), Pisba (88 tittles, 13.508 hectares), Guerrero (61 tittles, 12.072 hectares), Guanacas (6 tittles, 11.642 hectares), Puracé-Coconuco (79 tittles, 9.354 hectares), Tota-Bijagual-Mamapacha (17 tittles, 8.395 hectares), Rabanal y Río Bogotá (19 tittles, 6.715 hectares), Almorzadero (17 tittles, 5.937 hectares), Guantiva-Rusia (9 tittles, 5.619 hectares), Nevados, (22 tittles, 5.351 hectares), Chili-Barragan (3 tittles, 2.797 hectares), Cocuy (3 tittles, 1.979 hectares).

This is due to the promotion of foreign investment, promoted by the Government, and its development policies based in an extractivist mining-energetic model. As a consequence to this, the social participation in the decision taking regarding mining issues has been limited. The legal status of the paramo ecosystems is facing an unstable moment due to a governmental initiative to “delimit” these ecosystems in the country. There is now a huge controversy due to the question of is limiting the ecosystem to the highlands really a protective measure, or will it fragment the ecosystem and the water cycle, or whether at least this measure is better than nothing to stop the granting of mining tittles in the high mountain areas.

While the demonstration was taking place in Bogotá and Bucaramanga, the Minister of Mines and Energy and other governmental representatives attended the Mining National Congress in Cartagena, with the attendance of the President Juan Manuel Santos, who delivered the message of “government being absolutely committed with mining”. His official pronouncement denies that the country is calling to rethink the extractivist model that is “selling” our non-renewable natural resources, and depleting and contaminating our water sources.

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“Mining is still being justified as the principal development opportunity for the country, while we become more dependant of exporting goods. This is why we continue to mobilize forces to demand the respect for life and health and that the access to water is granted”, assured Silvia Gómez, Director of Greenpeace Colombia. “The government hasn’t been able to listen to peasants, communities, organisations and citizens who have gone out to the streets all around the country asking for the respect to water, natural resources and the environment. Time is running out, while destruction, thirst and climate change are striking our daily life”, concluded Gómez.

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References:

http://colombiainforma.info/politica/medio-ambiente/2271-este-24-de-abril-movilizacion-por-el-agua-colombiana

http://www.greenpeace.org/colombia/es/Noticias/Cientos-de-personas-en-la-manifestacion-Por-la-vida-y-el-Agua-tomese-la-calle/

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