Monday, December 06, 2021

NEWS

Opposition in Colombia seeks to ratify Escazú Agreement

Opposition in Colombia seeks to ratify Escazú Agreement

Bogotá, Sep 27 (Prensa Latina) Several opposition congressmen will present a Compliance Action today for the Escazú Agreement to be filed without delay before the Colombian Congress.
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According to a statement issued this Monday, given the reluctance of the government and since the time of the legislature to process the Agreement is running out, they will bring this action that, if accepted, would order the Executive to file the bill as soon as possible to approve such regional treaty.

After the announcement by the government of Iván Duque to ‘socialize’ the draft approval of the Escazú Agreement throughout the national territory, in order to generate ‘consensus’ about its ratification, opposition congressmen denounced it is a ‘play’.

In the opinion of the legislators, Duque’s administration seeks to entangle and delay the process for the ratification of the regional agreement on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Senators Ivan Cepeda, Feliciano Valencia, Antonio Sanguino and Abel David Jaramillo, stressed that the Escazú Agreement is vital for Colombia because it protects the lives of environmental defenders and adds more adequate mechanisms to protect them.

‘We cannot allow Colombia to continue being the first country in the world with more leaders and environmental defenders murdered without doing anything; approving Escazú is a step in that direction’, they said.

They recalled that ‘for the second consecutive year, Colombia occupies the dishonorable first place of the most dangerous countries in the world to defend the environment and territories, according to the Global Witness report, registering the murder of 65 environmental activists in 2020 throughout the country’.

Despite this, they regretted, the national government has not yet implemented effective measures to prevent these numbers from increasing, and much worse, it is reluctant to submit to the approval process the only human rights instrument containing nowadays provisions in this regard.

They explained that, according to the Environmental Justice Atlas, from July 2020, Colombia had 2,743 environmental conflicts (deforestation, extra activist model, delimitation of moorlands, among others).

In this sense, they stressed there must be a determined commitment to face environmental challenges and establish strategies that allow, with the support of all actors, to protect the environment, the territory and environmental activists.

‘Building environmental peace requires the active participation and fair conditions of the communities that inhabit and defend the territories’, they emphasized.

pgh/lcr

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