Colombia’s Environment Minister will try to reach a decision on the Pacific Malaga Bay before the end of the current administration in August, he told local businessmen and community members in Cali.
The minister attended a meeting with environmental authorities, Afro community council members, the Cali Chamber of Commerce, and community members from el Valle on Monday to discuss controversial plans to create a port in the bay, which is a mating site for humpback whales.
Environment Minister Carlos Costa addressed the concerns of local businessmen and community members regarding the question of port or park stating that there will be a park, but he must consider the option to create a port as well,
“There will be a park; I have said so in every possible scenario. Bahia Malaga is a protected area and we have completed the process [for a park]. What we are discussing is if it is possible for both [park and port] things to exist. As the minister of environment, I can’t ignore the voices of the Governor of el Valle, of ANDI, and the Chamber of Commerce. This decision affects the entire region and the entire country,” Costa said.
Attendees of the forum expressed discontent at the minister’s delay in signing to declare the area a national park.
“If the Colombian Academy for Exact Sciences and all the studies have been done say that we have an urgent priority, we can’t risk one whale or the fragility of the ecosystem… you can’t say that keep saying that the position is inadequate to declare Bahia Malaga [a park] and keep [mamando gallo] giving excuses to declare the area a national park,” one attendee said.
Several attendees expressed concern to the minister about competing port proposals in Tribuga, an area with conditions similar to
“This isn’t about
The Cali Chamber of Commerce and the ANDI are requesting another study to be completed by UNIVALLE in following months.
The environment minister has the final word about the fate of the bay and the decision to declare the area a national park is irreversible.