With the purpose of counteracting the serious damage caused by the organized Armed Groups to water, biodiversity and the environment, considered strategic assets of the Nation, the National Government will form an Environmental Task Force that collects and unifies the available capacities of the Security forces in this purpose.
The Environmental Task Force, which will have members of the Military Forces and the National Police, is the result of a renewed and strengthened strategy of the Defense and Security Policy of President Iván Duque, which seeks to unify and carry out new capacities in defense of natural resources.
The defense minister, Holmes Trujillo, was emphatic in warning that the Security forces "are not going to withdraw of the National Natural Park areas, where criminals intend to settle," he recalled that it is a patrimony of Colombians who must protect them.
"It is fully established that drug trafficking, illegal mineral extraction and deforestation are the main threats to our environment," he said, and he recalled that for the government of President Iván Duque, the protection of the environment, biodiversity and water sources is a national security issue, as stated in the Defense and Security Policy for Legality, Entrepreneurship and Equity.
The head of the Defense portfolio explained that this policy guideline has been implemented through the Artemisa Campaign, which has been running since April 2019 in coordination with the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
"This campaign has 22,300 members of the Security forces that have carried out 244 operations in Putumayo, Caquetá and Guaviare, as well as in protected areas of different National Natural Parks," said the Minister and he also highlighted that this campaign has recovered 5,300 hectares of National Natural Parks.
It is important to say that 316 birds, 3,974 species including mammals and reptiles, 9,075 fish have been recovered, and 31,254 kilos of illegal fishing have been confiscated as well as 21,564 cubic meters of wood and 130 supports have been provided for forest fire control.
The head of the Defense, in the same way, spoke about the fires reported this weekend in the Serranía de La Macarena and the NNP Tinigua, which he described as a crime against the heritage of Colombians and humanity, as it is a strategic area where the ecosystems of the Amazon, the Orinoquía and the Andean region converge.
"The rapid operation of a group of heroes of the Military Forces, the National Police, firefighters, community, tour guides and park rangers, in coordination with the National Risk Management Unit, extinguished the flames at dawn on Sunday," said the Minister Trujillo
For his part, the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Ricardo Lozano, said that the Artemisa operation "is a comprehensive program for the presence of the State in the Natural National Parks, which are the heritage of all Colombians."
Source: Sectorial Communication - Ministry of National Defense