We want zero deforestation in the Amazon - #LetsStopDeforestation

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We, the 25 children and youth who won the first case in Latin America involving climate change and future generations, met with experts and civil society organizations in Colombia to ask our Congress, #LetsChangeTheGoal on deforestation that President Iván Duque proposed in the Colombian National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2022.

This plan ignores Colombia’s international commitments. These include our pledge under the Paris Agreement to exert all efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, something rendered impossible if deforestation is not reduced. Another is a Joint Declaration Colombia signed with Germany, Norway, and the United Kingdom to reduce to zero the rate of deforestation in the Colombian Amazon by 2020.

We are concerned that the current President of Colombia is considering not complying with this commitment and has not proposed a further reduction of deforestation levels, but is instead proposing only to maintain the current alarming levels of deforestation we have at the moment.

If we maintain the current level of deforestation, Colombia will lose, by 2020, more than 800,000 hectares of forests: approximately five times the size of Bogotá. This current target in the NDP does not only contravene our commitments under the Paris Agreement, it also violates Sentence No. 4360 of 2018, where the Supreme Court of Justice, in a landmark ruling, declared the Amazon a subject of rights entitled to protection. This means that the government must do everything in its power to protect, conserve, and restore the Amazon rainforest.

We thus invite all children, youth, and adults of Colombia, Latin America, and the world to ask the Colombian Government to change its deforestation goal to one that effectively addresses the serious disappearance of our forests, something we are witnessing today. We are losing 219,973 hectares of forests per year, and we cannot allow this to continue. We need to put pressure on government to reduce this level so that every year, we come closer and closer to our goal of reaching Zero Deforestation in the Amazon. We ask the President, #LetsChangeTheGoal of deforestation in the National Development Plan 2018-2022.

You can also support us by signing this Petition in Change.org and spreading the word so that everyone across the world will know that we, the children and youth, are fully committed to protecting our forests.

Read the letter that we sent to Congress last March 5, 2019.