Despite the declaration of a new national park in northern Colombia, an environmentalist on Wednesday has vowed to continue fighting the multinational mining companies in the area.
Any hopes multinational mining companies may have had that the declaration of a new national park in the North Santander department would silence environmentalists were dashed when Orlando Beltran, a prominent Colombian environmentalist, spoke out against the prescence of mining companies to local media.
Beltran, one of the leading campaigners for the new national park, said that the area designated for the park was insufficient to protect the ecologically sensitive “paramos” — upland moor areas — that reportedly are the water source for more than two million Colombians. He also said that he was aware of five multinational mining companies located close to the new national park and would continue to campaign against them.
After years of lobbying for the new national park the government made the announcement last week, effectively banning mining in an area where many mining concessions had already been granted. The park covers 28,900 acres, but environmentalists asked for a much larger park in order to protect the moorlands.