Friday, July 13, 2018

Columbia Creates Largest Tropical Park

Green Kudos go to Columbia this week for creating the world's largest tropical rain forest national park, Serrania del Chiribiquete.  After expansion of more than fifty percent, it is now the size of Northern Ireland or 10,810 sq. miles, and is home to more than 3,000 species.  Those include the iconic jaguar, manatee and vulnerable woolly monkeys, and three hundred species of birds. Its biodiversity springs from its remote location and the intersection of four distinct geographic regions.  UNESCO has declared the park a world heritage site in recognition of the park's diverse ecosystems. [photo] Some of the forest's indigenous people are uncontaminated by modernity, living in voluntary isolation. Impressive rock art adorns some of the park's cliff faces. It also contains areas with the highest deforestation rates in Columbia. Conservationists hope the national park designation will at least slow the rate of tree loss.  President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed the UNESCO declaration, the ninth for Columbia.  Santos promised to add $525 million to the country's conservation budget.