The Partnership focuses on halting and reversing deforestation, implementing a just and ambitious energy transition, and promoting the sustainable use of biodiversity, with a commitment to supporting local communities across the country. This next phase of the Partnership will also expand to include new and vital areas of collaboration, including halting biodiversity loss in land and marine ecosystems, whilst also ensuring participation and mainstreaming of gender and social inclusion.
The UK also announced two new innovative projects to empower indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in Colombia. Working with WWF, the UK will accompany IPLCs to enable them to harness the international carbon markets and maximise the opportunities they provide. The UK will also join a project led by GAIA Foundation to support the official recognition of Indigenous Local Governments in the Amazon.
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 7 November 2022 James Cleverly, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, was joined by his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Leyva, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Lord Zac Goldsmith, and the Colombian Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Susana Muhamad, to renew the UK-Colombia Partnership for Sustainable Growth. Both countries pledged to continue their innovative work on climate change, while deepening their collaboration to protect key land and marine ecosystems.
The UK-Colombia Partnership for Sustainable Growth, an ambitious agreement signed in 2019, is a strong example of how bilateral collaboration can address the socio environmental challenges of climate change through a cross-cutting agenda that includes forests and biodiversity protection, renewable energy, sustainable mobility and infrastructure, as well as sustainable livelihoods and mobilising finance for climate and nature.
Recognising the need to jointly address the biodiversity and climate crisis, both countries will deepen their bilateral cooperation on climate change and increase efforts to protect and restore nature and biodiversity in land and marine ecosystems.
This will include further work on the illegal wildlife trade, ocean pollution and forest and marine protection, with gender and social inclusion integrated at all stages, including recognising the central role played by indigenous people and local communities in nature conservation.
Building on the important work carried out to-date, the UK is pleased to announce that, from early 2023, we will also start working with WWF Colombia to empower indigenous communities and help them to harness and maximise opportunities from international carbon markets, ensuring fair processes and best practices.
A second project with GAIA has also been confirmed, which seeks to support the official recognition of Indigenous Local Governments in the Amazon, who are currently protecting 11 million hectares of forest and promote improved conditions.
Commenting on the renewal of the UK Colombia Partnership for Sustainable Growth, James Cleverly, the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, commented:
The UK and Colombia are working closely together to prevent deforestation, promote a just energy transition and protect Colombia’s incredible biodiversity. I’m delighted to renew the UK Colombia Partnership for Sustainable Growth today to deepen that co-operation even further, on one of the greatest shared challenges we face.
Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment, said:
Colombia is one of the most beautiful places I know and for me it is very important to be here with you at COP27 and to be able to make this Alliance. The Amazon is wonderful, we must protect the paramos, its frailejones and its important water production.
The Colombian Minister, Susana Muhamad, also commented:
The United Kingdom is a strategic ally to focus on the defence of the Amazon and create a new face for this program that seeks to stop deforestation in our country.
The renewed Partnership for Sustainable Growth sets out a clear roadmap for UK Colombian cooperation on climate and nature during President Gustavo Petro’s administration with defined priorities from both countries.