Ministry of Mines and Energy. ANM. Bogota D.C. November 24th, 2017. The Ministry of Mines and Energy, together with the National Mining Agency (ANM), are once again informing the country that the undertaking of extractive activities is forbidden in both moorlands and National Natural Parks, as properly demarcated by the environmental authority.
"Mining activities, or extraction-based projects, can only be carried out wherever this has been permitted by the environmental authority, which leaves out all of the moorlands and Natural Parks that have been demarcated by the National Government. The entities and public officials committed to this process have shown an equal amount of respect and care for our natural resources, just as any other citizen. This is why we are calling out those who have provided disinformation on these topics, telling them to stop creating more polarization among Colombians, much less in environmental matters, because they have been a priority for this Government since the first day of the administration," said the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata.
Added to the above, there is a legal requirement for the extraction of natural resources involving Concession Contracts assigned by the mining authority, which means that title holders must obtain an environmental license granted by the competent authority. This means that no legal mining projects can reach the extraction stage without their respective environmental license.
"Regarding the case of the National Natural Park in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, we have already carried out a demarcation and hereby reiterate that there are no mining titles involved," said the president of the National Mining Agency, Silvana Habib Daza.
Likewise, this public official explained that the National Government is currently studying the expansion of the National Natural Park in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, for the purposes of increasing its protection from productive activities, including mining. The area intended for expansion includes 41 mining titles, 90% of which involve construction materials used for working on roads and for other public infrastructure operations throughout the region.
The National Government has established a Permanent Inter-Institutional Roundtable, which is used by the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the Ministry of the Environment and their attached entities in order to coordinate oversight efforts involving legal mining activities. They have also developed important inter-sector management capacity regarding the application of the joint collaboration principle to undertake the demarcation of the Moorland Complex of the Sierra Nevada and the expansion of the National Natural Park in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.