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3/25/2014

Drought kills 20 thousand animals in Casanare, Colombia.



To the government, deforestation is in Boyacá reduces the water available, but that would not be the whole truth.

The strong wave of drought in Casanare has caused for four months death by dehydration of about 20,000 animals, mainly capybaras, deer, foxes, fish, turtles, reptiles and cattle.

The impact has been so strong that the Government of that department is considering Friday whether to declare an environmental emergency, especially in the town of Peace Ariporo, the third largest in Casanare. But for this they need legal arguments being collected.

Doing so would mean that the medium-term works as drilling deep wells with pumps would provide water.

But the problem is not lack of enough wells but a forest reserve, as explained to Semana.com Adriana Soto, former deputy environment minister and expert on climate change adaptation.

"There will be more droughts and extreme rainfall. The regions have been better natural hedges (such as forests, jungles, etc.) can better withstand these impacts because they help regulate water and soil, "he said.

Soto specified that if there is a well maintained trees and forest area, rainwater does not accumulate in the wells and increasingly severe droughts are generated.

"We're betting on the wrong thing because ranching and farming activities in a clean field think of trees as productive but this country has to realize that deforestation is against its own productivity," he said.

In the Governorate of Casanare agree with this approach but they will throw the ball to his neighbor, Boyacá. "In Casanare there is little foothills. Deforestation in boyacenses municipalities as Paya, Ishbah or Aquitaine and our Boyacá department must for tourism, roads and water. Four rivers discharging to Casanare born in Laguna de Tota, "said Luis Eduardo Castro, secretary of planning Casanare.

The time of intense temperatures ranging between 40 ° and 45 ° C started since December 2013 and has not stopped. Many outraged voices in social networks have said that the Government and the State have done nothing during these four months and intend to fix the situation in a day.

Castro said that there is always the savannah animal mortality by weather but this situation was exacerbated by the extension of the summer, they did not expect. "It's a natural phenomenon that we are out of hand," he said.

According to him, it is not the first act of the Government to deal with the drought. The attempt is to work in Casanare watershed management hand in hand with this Boyacá and is approved as a national public policy.

Castro argues that the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) grants permits to large enterprises without studying too whether or not affects the territory and the Government can not interfere in it. "The ANLA issuing the license but it does not follow, do not make a balance of the compensation of the damage and not constantly check if companies do not comply with the conservation of micro" he explained.
                                                    Image: Fish killed by Dehydration

While Boyaca come to Casanare important water resources, it can not avoid the responsibility of this department in environmental impacts. So think Manuel Rodriguez, Prime Minister of the Environment that took the country, who says he "can not forget that Casanare has treated wetlands absolutely irresponsible and that is local." According to Rodriguez, in that department have drained wetlands to give more land to agriculture.

Some voices blame the oil to dry water wells. Planning secretary says he has no technical data on whether or not these companies interfere in this last season of drought. Rodriguez believes that the involvement of water in the oil industry but it is clear that the subject line is not how to regulate it but if not just for or extraction of this mineral.

Adriana Soto, meanwhile, believes that we must look at the specific situation of Casanare very closely to ensure that drought and analyze more science and less politics. His position is clear: the only solution to the long and severe droughts and floods afflicting the country's reforestation and care of forests and jungles.

Otherwise, for more wells to be constructed will be an almost impossible task to deal with the drastic climate change as there will be sufficient water reserves in times of heat or natural hedges to observe the water during the rainy season. Thus, there will die 20,000 wild animals and thousands more.

Semana (Translated) 
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