The Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, announced today in the Amazon the implementation of an ambitious reforestation program that seeks to make “green” the country in the near future.
The president, in a large concentration of residents in the city of Macas, capital of the Amazon province of Morona Santiago (east), said his plan “Reverdecer Ecuador” is fundamental to the development model required by his country. Ecuador is considered among the ten with the highest concentration of biodiversity on the planet, which the Government tries to protect at all costs.
“Today we are summoned to the cause of life,” Moreno said when announcing the plan and said that his program is complementary to the entire development strategy of the Government. Even mining should be subject to the protection of the forests, the president suggested, recalling that in his administration, which began in May last year, 2,000 mining concessions have been eliminated on which there were concerns about possible harmful effects to the environment.
He said that, for not having reported a procedure on a concession that should be canceled, a minister “had to go home”, and although he did not specify his identity, in January the Minister of Mining, Javier, resigned unexpectedly. Cordova. “Ecuador is one of the ten most biodiverse countries on the planet”, but also faces environmental problems that must be resolved urgently, he warned.
He commented, for example, that at least one hundred rivers are severely polluted and that the annual rate of deforestation reaches almost 100,000 hectares, a figure equivalent to an average of “250 professional soccer fields every day” or “ten every hour”
“We must stop these damages” caused by “human ambition” and also by “ignorance” of the people, Moreno added to defend the environmental program of his Government. This plan is based, he said, on conservation, “the bioeconomy”, the construction of “sustainable cities”, “environmental education”, “forest management”, “territorial ordering” and “reforestation”. Moreno’s intervention concluded with the song “Padre”, by the Spanish Joan Manuel Serrat, first recited in Castilian by the president and then sung in Catalan, as the original version.
On his side, Environment Minister Tarsicio Granizo, in presenting the plan, recalled that “the source of all life is balance” and that the “Reverdecer Ecuador” program should be a historic opportunity for the country and should be linked to the other state programs. “How can there be water for all without forests?” Granizo asked, specifying that the plan is composed of seven main pillars: conservation, sustainable cities, bioeconomy, territorial planning, environmental education, forest management and restoration-reforestation.
The plan also seeks to strengthen protected areas, which currently covers 20% of Ecuadorian territory, and take the appropriate steps to turn cities into environmentally sustainable cities, said Granizo. (I)