With 2,000 square kilometers of forest destroyed every year, the future of the Amazon rainforest in Colombia appears bleak, reports Colombian newspaper El Espectador.
The forest, known as the “lungs of the world,” is home to 79 endangered species and 44 indigenous cultures threatened by migration. The spraying of chemicals to stop coca production has also destroyed a great deal of flora. Drug trafficking, urbanization, mining, changes in farming techniques, and timber production have all been fingered as causes of deforestation, and the threat appears to be growing, according to the newspaper.
El Espectador called on the Colombian people and government to “stop giving away the Amazon,” which it says will disappear by 2030 if nothing is done to stop deforestation. The Amazon covers 35% of Colombia’s territory, and accounts for 61% of the country’s forest.
“Amazonas 2030″ is an organization comprised of media companies, civil society groups, and businesses which coordinate to monitor and evaluate changes in the rainforest. Wendy Arenas, director of Alisas, a member organization of Amazonas 2030, argued that the issue must be prioritized, “Now is the time for someone to ask the government about the Amazon.”
El Espectador praised the work of the organization, but said there was a need for an increased respect for the rainforest among Colombian people, and for more decisive action by the government.