IRI Colombia launches new campaign, Eschucha la Amazonia

Each of the 36 IRI Colombia local chapters have consolidated pastoral and environmental action plans and have committed to tracking and IRI Colombia has launched and joined a coalition with other environmental and religious organizations [including the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon (OPIAC), Gaia Amazonas Foundation, the Foundation for Conservation and Sustainable Development (FCDS), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace].  The campaign, called Escucha la Amazonía, was launched with the objective that the next President of the republic make the Amazon a priority in their government and make concrete commitments in different areas that have a direct impact on the protection of this region. Escucha la Amazonía proposes four key issues on which these agreements should be based: (i) protecting the Amazon forest from the growing threats (such as the loss of biodiversity, deforestation or attacks on environmental defenders), (ii) ensuring the harmony of ecosystems and the preservation of the cultural diversity of the Amazon; (iii) consolidating an intercultural state through measures for the effective exercise of autonomy and self-determination of indigenous peoples and the consolidation of their systems of government; (iv) implementing a model of sustainable development designed from and for the Amazon, which takes as a model the knowledge systems and sustainable practices of indigenous peoples. Through Escucha la Amazonia, IRI Colombia is advocating for the Amazon to be positioned in the public debate of the presidential pre-candidates, and it was successful in securing the inclusion of three questions on environmental challenges in the Amazon into that debate, including on fire control, sustainable production and consumption, and local management of the territory by indigenous peoples. The questions were included in the Environmental Debate on Mining and Energy Policy and Environmental Crisis, held in late February.