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Flashpoint: H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, Former President of Colombia

H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, Former President, Republic of Colombia

The Amazon basin is in crisis and we must do what we can to save it, implored H.E. Iván Duque Márques, Former President of the Republic of Colombia. The climate crisis is the most challenging of our lifetime; temperatures are rising, natural disasters are happening more frequently, transmittable diseases are increasing, and glaciers are melting. If we don’t do something now, the former president continued, it will be the largest negative heritage that one generation has ever bequeathed to the next. 

The Amazon itself is a remarkable region, larger than the contiguous U.S. and twice the size of the European Union. Its 30 million people live in a region that is the home to 30% of all species on Earth. Its struggles are well known: since 1970, it has lost a land area as big as California and Texas combined, or Germany and France combined. Soon the damage will be irreversible, warned Duque, so we must approach it boldly, decisively, and in a Concordia way. 

Announcing the Concordia Amazon Initiative, Duque spoke about how he hopes to use existing political will to better coordinate between the private and public sectors, encourage advocacy, and protect the Amazon over the short, medium, and long term. Specifically, he expressed his conviction that using technology to measure and monitor, improving access to finance, and providing real benefits to local communities can make a significant step toward alleviating pressure on the region. 

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • The Amazon is one of the most important natural regions in the world, acting as a major carbon sink and source of freshwater for the continent, as well as a home for nearly one-third of all species on earth. Its health is crucial to the entire world.
  • Concordia plans to focus its attention on the Amazon. It is launching the Concordia Amazon Initiative to bring together public and private stakeholders to develop real and actionable solutions. Learn more here.

“We face today a climate crisis – the most challenging one of our lifetime. If we do not bring down the temperature, we will suffer the worst situation in our history, and many people will die.”


H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, Former President, Republic of Colombia