Extensive tracts of the Amazon rainforest were declared National Security Zones by Colombia’s Institute of Geology and Mining (Ingeominas) on Thursday in an attempt to control mining operations.
Oscar Paredes, the president of Ingeominas, made the announcement during the launch of the Great Survey on the Perception of the Amazons in Bogota.
According to the current land registry, only 0.26% of the Amazon territories coincide with mining titles, however, that figure rises to 10.13% if all mining requests not yet granted are taken into account.
Paredes acknowledged that there is a complex problem of overlapping titles and applications in national parks, indigenous reservations and “paramos,” neo-tropical ecosystems above 10,000 feet where mining is prohibited.
“The idea is that Colombia will not have one centimeter of overlapping titles in areas of biological interest,” Paredes said.
Overlapping mining titles, however, have been identified in 37 instances in national parks, and 160 titles have been applied in paramos areas.
Ingeominas has met with mining company representatives, and together they have made between 80 and 90 title cuts to protect the paramos.