Colombia and the United States on Friday signed the Environmental Cooperation Agreement (ECA) to facilitate heightened cooperation on issues where the environment and trade intersect.
Juan Gabriel Uribe of Colombia’s environment and sustainability ministry, together with Robert D. Hormats, U.S. under-secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, signed the U.S. – Colombia ECA in Washington D.C.
“The ECA will strengthen the ties between the United States and Colombia by creating new opportunities to work together to protect the environment and conserve natural resources,” according to a U.S. State Department press release.
The agreement follows in the wake of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries, which came into effect during the first half of 2012. This agreement is considered to be an auxiliary addition to the original FTA.
Colombia has welcomed free trade with other nations as well. The implementation of an FTA with South Korea is currently underway.
While many commentators have acknowledged the benefits of such agreements, an increase in trade also comes with environmental implications. Colombia’s rich biodiversity has fallen under concern by the Ministry of the Environment. For that reason, Minister Juan Gabriel Uribe expressed to Washington that Colombia would seek to welcome and establish a chapter of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) in Colombia.
“I’m negotiating with the ICCF for project to strengthen the National Parks System in Colombia, in collaboration with the National Park System of the United States and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Uribe in a press release.
The ICCF, a Washington-based organization concerned with advancing U.S.-led conservation projects between public and private entities, would perform technical assessments on Colombia’s current conservation efforts in order to prioritize future protective measures.
- Colombia y Los Estados Unidos fortalecen TLC con Acuerdo de Cooperación Ambiental (Colombia Ministry of the Environment Press Release)
- United States and Colombia Sign Environmental Cooperation Agreement (United States State Department Press Release)