Friday, August 31, 2007

Colombia joins Countdown 2010

Colombia has become the third country in South America to join Countdown 2010, an initiative to slow the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010

Colombia, which has the highest Biodiversity National Indicator in South America and the most biodiverse region of the world, has joined the Countdown 2010 initiative.

The Minister of Environment and Territorial Development, Juan Lozano Ramirez, signed the Countdown 2010 Declaration, on Thursday, August 30, in a ceremony at the International Workshop of Ecosystems for the Millenium in Bogota.

The country has joined an active network of partners from all sectors working together to reduce the loss of biodiversity and raise public attention on the challenge to save biodiversity by 2010.

Juan Lozano Ramirez, Ministry of Environment and Territorial Development, said: “With this Declaration we want to express to Colombians and to the rest of the world that we are committed to contribute towards the reduction of loss of biodiversity with this international goal.”

Main commitments for the 2010 declaration include support to halt or significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. The declaration also commits signatories to increase public awareness and participation for biodiversity conservation, better integrate biodiversity considerations into all relevant sectors of public policy and economy and undertake serious efforts to adapt human activities to the needs of natural systems.

Colombia’s particular commitments include identifying a clear agenda on biodiversity research to support decisions concerned on loss of biodiversity, consolidating the Colombian National System on Environmental Information and considering the fundamental role that protected areas have in terms of the conservation of biodiversity.

Robert Hofstede, IUCN South America Regional Director ad interim, indicated that the goal to reduce the loss of biodiversity includes the work of several sectors, including an important role for the private sector.

Colombia became the third country in South America to sign the Countdown 2010 Declaration, behind Peru and Ecuador, strengthening this commitment inside Andean countries. The South American hub for Countdown 2010, hosted in the IUCN South America Office, has been promoting the initiative with IUCN members in the region and other interested partners since January of this year.

The main challenges for this regional initiative are to prepare base information on loss of biodiversity, improve the impact of communications and education on biodiversity issues and support practical experiences on the conservation of biodiversity, including the participation of local communities, governments and the private sector.

For further information please contact: Arturo Mora ( and Veronica Moreno (

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