The Colombian Orinoco, a bastion wild struggle for preservation

Considered the new frontier of development in Colombia, the Orinoco region, bordering Venezuela, is one of the best preserved wildlife reserves of the country and a unique habitat struggling to survive the arrival of new production systems and savannas exploitation. Flooded wetlands and high plains make this remote region of 900,000 hectares that share the places like Meta, Vichada, Casanare and Arauca and eastern Venezuela with which, together, form the river basin Orinoco. The rich resources Natural hitherto neglected region have made the Orinoco is described as “a blank canvas”, an area open to exploration and colonization, declared “border for development” with the expansion of the oil extraction industry and monoculture agribusiness. “What worries us most is all that comes around oil culture, infrastructure construction, the displacement of populations, investments or royalties associated with the migration of people,” he told Brigitte Baptiste, director of Humboldt Institute is dedicated to documentation of these underground transformation. El hides important the Orinoco oil reserves which removes about 70% of domestic production (about 750,000 barrels per day) and important coalfields emeralds, iron and silver that have made their land a precious treasure for large corporations. Similarly, large tracts of virgin land infertile have become a challenge for the development of crops for agribusiness and bio-fuels, such as palm oil, sugar cane, rubber and eucalyptus, which have altered the dynamics of land prices and cost have soared to 15 million pesos per hectare. The municipality and environmental authorities denounce the construction of this oil exploratory well between two aqueducts that supply water to communities in the region and an important water reserve of fresh water. “oil industry may last twenty or thirty years, but once you finish extracting the last drop of oil, companies are going to lift the fret and are going to go leaving a huge environmental liability. In this situation, environmentalists and researchers call for a comprehensive development of the region that empowers the local and regional authorities in making decisions about the future economic, social and environmental planning. “There is an opportunity to rethink the growth of the economy.’s call is toward a more inclusive, not based on a single production model and that serves good land, “he said Baptiste, with the hope that the Orinoco achieve ecological become a benchmark for the entire country.

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