On July 27, 2018, the Colombian Congress issued Law 1930, “By means of which the general provisions for the integral management of moorlands in Colombia were established” (the “Law”).
The purposes of the Law are the following: (i) define moorlands as strategic ecosystems in Colombia; and (ii) establish the guidelines applicable to their protection. Please find below some of the most relevant matters of the new Law:
- The Law establishes the principles that are applicable to the management of moorlands in Colombia.
- The Law defines the following concepts: moorland, traditional habitants of the moorlands and differential approach.
- The Law establishes that the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (the “MADS”) will delimit the moorlands based on: (i) the area of reference of “Instituto de Investigación de Recursos Biológicos Alexander Von Humboldt” at scale 1:25.000 or any other available; and (ii) the studies of the environmental regional authority.
- The Law prohibits the development of several activities in moorlands, including mining and hydrocarbon´s exploration and exploitation.
- The Law establishes that the regional environmental authorities will have a maximum term of four years, since the delimitation of moorlands, to issue the applicable management plan . Said management plans will require a future projection of at least 10 years, with updates every five years. The MADS will issue the terms of reference for said plans in a maximum term of one year since the issuance of the Law.
- The Law establishes that the relevant environmental authorities should conduct all necessary steps to re-organize the private property that is currently located within the areas of moorlands in a term of five years as of the date of the Law.
- The Law establishes that the relevant environmental authorities must carry out programs to replace and restructure agricultural activities that cause significant impacts and traditional mining that is being developed in moorland areas before 16 June 2011.
- The Law establishes strategies to manage the moorlands with a demographic approach, considering the traditional inhabitants of the moorlands.
- The Law establishes several provisions to channel financial resources to ensure moorlands’ protection. Among said provisions it is important to outline the modification of previous provisions related to: (i) the distribution of contributions made for the generation of owned energy by the companies that generate hydroelectric energy (above 10.000 KV); (ii) the new allocation of the resources that come from the fees that are established for the use of water and the national carbon tax.
- The Law recognizes ecotourism as a social and finance strategy for the protection of moorlands.
Finally, the national government should issue the regulation applicable to the Law within a maximum term of 12 months.
The Law will be in force from the date of its promulgation.