Target: Colombian Congressman Alirio Uribe Munoz
Goal: Applaud the effort to stop coal mining in an environmentally sensitive region in Colombia.
The Colombian constitutional court has revoked all coal mining licenses in the páramos (moorlands) of Colombia. The highest environmental authority in the country has also ordered Hunza Coal, the multinational mining company, to abandon part of its operation.
The páramos of Colombia are in a part of the Andes that is too high for trees to grow, yet too low for snow to fall. This boggy region is home to thousands of unique species due to its particular location and altitude. It is covered in grass and shrubs, and acts like a huge sponge that retains water during the rainy season and releases it during the dry season. Roughly 70 percent of the water from the Andes comes through the boggy páramos, and is a primary water source for Colombian people, like the citizens of the capital, Bogota. Coal mining in the region placed both the ecosystem and the quality of the water at risk, and environmentalists have argued that gold and oil mining would pose the same risks.
This welcome move comes after pressure from local communities, Greenpeace and a group of politicians brought the case before the constitutional court. The decision means that almost 350 coal mining licenses will be revoked instead of the mining companies being allowed to continue operating until their expiration date. This is a major step in the journey to protect this rare region and the flora and fauna that call it home. Applaud this decision to ban coal mining in the area.
Dear Congressman Munoz,
The recent decision by the Colombian court to revoke all 347 coal mining licenses in the páramos is to be commended, as is the order for Hunza Coal to discontinue its operations. In a welcome change to the story we usually see, the voice of the people in regards to the safety of the ecosystem in the páramos, as well as that of the water, has been heard.
With your help, and the help of other politicians, legislators, local communities and environmental activists, this unique and wonderful area can now be preserved more easily. I applaud you and your efforts to make a change for the good of both the environment and the people who rely upon it.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Luis Alejandro Bernal Romero