Colombia’s treasured snow-capped mountains, particularly those of the Caribbean Sierra Nevada mountain range, are in danger of melting as a result of global warming, said President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday.
The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest peak of the eastern Colombian Andes mountain range and has been revered since colonial times for its eternal snow.
Santos said that Sierra Nevada is due to lose its white caps because of climate change. Out of six mountains, the only ice cap which may survive the coming 20 years is that of the Cocuy mountain range in northeastern Colombia.
“By 2030 it will no longer snow in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. Of the six mountains that Colombia has only Cocuy will survive as the rest will disappear. This is a grim and dangerous projection so we must ensure that we take care of our environment,” said Santos.
The president noted that according to a United Nations study conducted by a panel of scientists, “Colombia is a country that is particularly vulnerable to climate change and there is a 95% chance that this phenomenon is due to the irresponsibility of humans”.
Santos added that local environmental authorities have predicted that the sea levels are due to rise and that “the consequences must be anticipated.”
In light of this, the president said he had instructed the Ministry of Environment to accelerate the government’s coastal master plan as “climate change is having an adverse effect on coastal erosion and mitigation.”