From June 11th to 15th, in the presence of the Minister of the Environment of Brazil, Edson Duarte, and the Ambassador of Colombia in Brazil, Alejandro Duarte, the “Technical Mission of exchange of experiences on monitoring tools, deforestation control, environmental enforcement and rural environmental cadastre” was held with the support of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Colombia.
This exchange took place at a critical moment for Colombia, where, due to different post-conflict factors, deforestation has increased in the country, particularly in the Amazon region. Therefore, understanding first-hand Brazil’s success in reducing its deforestation rate in the Amazon region by about 70% is so relevant.
The Brazilian delegation included officials from the Ministry of the Environment, the Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources – IBAMA, the Chico Mendes Institute for the Conservation of Biodiversity – ICMBIO and the Brazilian Forest Service. The Colombian delegation was composed of officials from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, the National Police, the National Army, the National Land Agency, the Territory Renewal Agency and the Corporation for the Sustainable Development of the North and the East of the Amazon – CDA.
This diverse representation highlighted both countries recognition that only from the inter-institutional and sectoral articulation and cooperation can deforestation be reduced. During the exchange key aspects for the control of deforestation advanced by the Brazilian government were identified, highlighting the definition of a strategic plan at the political level, the strengthening of monitoring, inter institutional articulation, and timely environmental crime intelligence and research.
The experience exchange also identified a series of areas for further collaboration between the two governments, highlighting the interest of the Colombian government in receiving training on the inspection/investigation processes, the implementation of the Rural Environmental Cadastre, the operation of the national forest service, and to advance joint initiatives before the Green Climate Fund and the participation of Colombia in the framework of the Amazon Fund for the strengthening of environmental monitoring and control. The Brazilian government in turn expressed interest in learning about the process of Payments for Environmental Services in Colombia.
The exchange was particularly timely as Colombia faces the challenge of sustaining a stable and lasting peace that maintains the great natural wealth of the country for the benefit of its inhabitants. Having key partners like Brazil that have demonstrated that it is possible to reduce deforestation will allow Colombia to implement its new Deforestation and Forest Management Control Strategy more adequately.