IRI Colombia has held two virtual events to launch their forest restoration campaign. On June 4th, the event “Amazonia ten years ago and ten years later” featured national and international guests who addressed Amazon restoration from different perspectives including armed conflict, food security, indigenous peoples and religious action. Participants in the event, which attracted the participation of more than 500 people, included Tim Christophersen, head of UNEP’s Nature for Climate Branch and coordinator of the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration; Juan Bello, head of UNEP in Colombia; Martin Von Hildebrand, founder and director emeritus of Gaia Amazonas; Jorge Reinel Pulecio, director of the Amazon and Life Foundation; Maria Alejandra Chaux, senior natural resources and governance specialist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); and Father Alfredo Ferro S. J., executive secretary of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon. A video of the event can be found here.
On June 9th, the event “Faith in service of restoring the Amazon rainforest” highlighted the faith-based actions that religious communities in Colombia are implementing to raise awareness on the importance of tropical forests, and how others can get involved. This event which attracted the participation of more than 130 people included the participation of Dr. Charles McNeill, Senior Advisor for Forests and Climate at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the religious leaders coordinating IRI Colombia’s 36 local chapters. A video of the event can be found here.