Protecting Chiribiquete

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Chiribiquete National Park

The Sierra de Chiribiquete Natural National Park will increase from 1.2 million hectares to 3 million hectares. This park is the largest natural reserve in Colombia and, following the expansion, will be about one-and-a-half times the size of Wales.

The Natural National Park is located between the areas of Caquetá and Guaviare deep in the Amazon jungle and has a varied terrain including dense rainforests, flooded savannas , and shrub-lands. The area is now home to a number of indigenous settlements in Miraflores, Yavilla II, Puerto Viejo, Puerto Esperanza, Vuelta del Alivio, Lagos del Dorado, and Barranquillita. Eleven Indian settlements are in the municipality of Calamar, and there are reservations in La Yuquera, El Itilla, and Yaguara. By expanding the area, the Columbian government fulfils one of its conservation pledges which is preserving outstanding fauna and flora, landscapes, historical relics, cultural traditions, and archaeological sites. It had been under potential oil exploration threats so the new limits of the park will mean that it will be protected from any exploration and it will preserve the culture and traditions of the aboriginal Karijona whose paintings can still be observed on the rock walls.

Columbia will be faced with a similar situation in Peru. How many visitors can you encourage before those tourists begin to damage what they have come to see? Certainly it is one of the most beautiful areas of the country where some 300 bird species, 72 beetle species, 313 butterfly species, 261 species of ant, six new species of dragon-fly, seven species of primate, three species of otter, four species of feline, 48 species of bat, eight species of rodent, two species of dolphin, and 60 species of fish are reported. The attraction of the visitor is not only seeing these but it is likely, because so much is scientifically unexplored, that more have yet to be identified

The expansion is supported by EU countries such as UK, Norway and Germany and the Columbian government says that it is a clear signal that the world understands how important preserving Colombia’s environment is to climate change.

For more information about the national parks of Colombia, click here.

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