Environmental problems in Colombia

Bulks of charcoal ready for the local markets. Timber for charcoal is one of the greatest threat to ... rel=
Bulks of charcoal ready for the local markets. Timber for charcoal is one of the greatest threat to the forests, La Cocha, Colombia, Northern Andes Ecoregion
© WWF / Diego M. GARCES

Forests, fish and freshwater under threat

Some of the major concerns for Colombia's terrestrial and marine ecosystems are:
  • Over-harvesting
  • Land erosion
  • Illegal logging in coastal tropical rainforests
  • Air and water pollution
  • Coral bleaching
  • Fisheries bycatch
  • Unsustainable tourism development
The major underlying pressures facing Colombia's inland biodiversity are growing population, infrastructure development with little concern of environmental impact, inadequate use of resources, and social and cultural conflicts.
New threats on the horizon: oil palm and rice
Colombia is one of the countries where significant expansion of crop planting is possible.1 Although this opens tempting economic prospects for the country's economy, the environmental impacts of fast crop expansion in other countries raises some concerns about what could happen in Colombia.

Emerging threats to the Orinoco Basin, one of the most intact river systems in the world and parts of which are in Colombia, are extensive cattle ranching and the projected expansion of industrial-scale agriculture such as oil palm and rice cultivation.
	© Fernando Trujillo / Fundación Omacha
Pink river dolphin, Inia geoffrensis, Orinoco river, Colombia.
© Fernando Trujillo / Fundación Omacha
	© WWF
What is WWF doing about the problems?
1 Dufey A., Baldock D., Farmer M. 2006. Impacts of Changes in Key EU Policies on Trade and Production Displacement of Sugar and Soy. Study commissioned by WWF to IIED, with the collaboration of IEEP.

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