Luis Gilberto Murillo, the Minister of Environment of Colombia, announced the Green Belt Initiative at the 4th Annual Meeting of Initiative 20x20 on April 26, 2018. The Green Belt Initiative seeks to create a 9.2-million-hectare natural barrier that would prevent the further deforestation and degradation of ecosystems in the Amazonia region. The belt will run from Nukak Park, through the northern part of the Chibiriquete Park to La Paya Park in the south until the border with Ecuador.
The Green Belt Initiative seeks to articulate different actors and incentive schemes, such as payment for ecosystem services, around connectivity, sustainable forest management, ecological restoration and the closure of the agricultural frontier to combat deforestation in Amazonia.
Local and international organizations such as Amazon Conservation Team, Andes Amazon Fund, GAIA Foundation, World Resources Institute, ABC, and 12Tree, along with other partners of Initiative 20x20, have expressed interest in cooperating with the Green Belt Initiative. Their technical and financial expertise will help this ambitious country-led project become a reality.
The Green Belt Initiative proves that Colombia has committed to sustainably promote non-timber forest products, community forestry, sustainable agroforestry management, and less impactful agricultural and livestock products in order to achieve sustainable development in the Amazonia region. The realization of the Green Belt Initiative would contribute to achieving the vision of Colombia’s Integral Control Strategy for Deforestation and Integrated Management for the Protection of Natural Forests, the Vision Amazonia program, and the Joint Declaration of Interest with the government of Norway.