Bogotá, December 7, 2020 – A new digital solution to support the control and surveillance of timber by state entities was officially launched in a virtual kick-off event with the Ministry Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and Norway. As a commitment of the Colombian Environmental Information System (SIAC for its acronym in Spanish), the new mobile application – COVIMA – developed by the MADS with GGGI and Norwegian support, is part of the SIAC’s push to support and promote the innovation and projects through digital technologies for the environmental sector.
During the event, the app’s functions and user experience were presented to over 100 representatives coming from national and subnational institutions involved in measures of control and surveillance of illegal trafficking of Colombia’s biodiversity specimens, encompassing the Environmental Authorities and the National Police units of DICAR and DIPRO, as well as Colombia’s Navy.
Paying recognition to how important the application is as a technological tool, engineer Rubén Darío Guerrero, Group Coordinator for Comprehensive Management of National Forests and Forest Reserves at the MADS, highlighted that “updating and innovating how technology is used for surveillance actions means the country can more efficiently control wildlife trafficking and effectively handle illegal timber trade. In Colombia’s case, an estimated 47% of the total demanded timber volume comes from unknown sources.”
COVIMA collects up-to-date information from previous applications and was designed to support the consolidation of the National Forest Traceability System. In the future, the app will also give citizens the option to choose known timber sources and, therefore, contribute to Colombia’s legal timber demand and natural forest conservation. Among its characteristics, the app distinguishes itself as it functions without the need of an internet connection, meaning it can be used anywhere in Colombia. COVIMA is readily available in the Google Play and App Store, free and with open access for anyone interested in using it.
“The COVIMA application is not only useful in the sense that it supports public forces and environmental authorities, but it also promotes legal timber trade, conveying an excellent incentive to legal producers to use forests sustainably when they see that standing and well-managed forests can contribute to deforestation control,” highlighted during the presentation Camilo Ortega P. – GGGI Colombia’s Policy Lead and Deputy Country Representative.
COVIMA was born of the need for immediate and open access information, which is why SIAC and MADS intend to prioritize its use and give more importance to environmental data and these types of initiatives to set the stage for regulatory measures to improve sustainability, production, management, and other sector related matters.
To download the app (available in Spanish), scan the QR code: