As part of the mega-project for the recovery of the Bogotá river, the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cundinamarca (CAR) explained that the area called Wetlands Filter is involved in the town of Engativá, where it is advancing the consolidation of 42 hectares that will be rehabilitated and returned to the river, promising to improve the ecosystem conditions for the generation of habitats for flora and fauna.
According to the Corporation, this is one of the four zones that seeks to consolidate the river roundabout. The other three are located in the town of Bosa and the municipality of Soacha.
“This will allow the river to flood in a controlled manner, install biofilters built from native plants with which we will improve water quality, repopulate the area with native species that will allow fauna, especially birds, to nest and reestablish themselves in the area. and, lastly, giving a landscape and recreational function around the river to the community in the area”, explained Amaury Rodríguez, director of the Fund for Environmental Investments of the Bogotá River – CAR.
Conditions of the properties
The official stressed that these properties were previously in very poor condition and were used for inappropriate disposal of solid waste and for agricultural uses. Once the CAR bought these properties and intervened in the area, environmental recovery activities and adaptation works began. hydraulics that have prevented the overflow of the tributary.
“What the Corporation is advancing today are hydrogeomorphological adaptation works to expand the natural flood area of the river called Wetlands Filter,” he said.
The purpose is to control flooding, create spaces conducive to the establishment of fauna and flora, as well as recover the ecosystems surrounding the river, as well as create spaces for the consolidation of water bodies, control the spread of invasive species and restore the area with typical native wetland vegetation.
“Contrary to what has been said, these works will allow the recovery of the fauna and flora of this ecosystem and create connectivity between the La Florida wetland, the Jaboque wetland, the Wetland Filter and the Juan Amarillo wetland,” the official stressed.
Likewise, he explained that the works are not being carried out within the Jaboque wetland, all the multifunctional areas that the CAR is building are within the flood zone of the middle basin of the Bogotá river.
According to the CAR, this project began in 2018 with an international consultancy, based on World Bank standards and has been permanently socialized and arranged with the community.
The announcement of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cundinamarca generated rejection in sectors of the citizenry, mainly in the Council of Bogotá, from where various lobbyists expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision.
Heidy Sánchez, councilor of the Patriotic Union, pointed out that the problem with the intervention is that the ecosystems do not obey the political-administrative limits.
“As multiple citizen voices and experts have denounced, there is an ecosystem connection between the Jaboque wetland and the intervention area. Thus, this adaptation implies an aggressive dredging process (inserting backhoes and lifting the entire ecosystem) that literally destroys the ecosystem of several of the species that live there. We call on the CAR and the Ministry of the Environment to reverse this terrible ecocide. Destroying ecosystems will never be a beneficial policy in the midst of the climate emergency, hydraulic adaptation works must always be respectful of ecosystem connectivity,” said the lobbyist.
For her part, Ati Quigua, vice president of the Bogotá Council, asserted that the Cundinamarca Regional Autonomous Corporation and the District Environment Secretariat massacred the Jaboque Wetland.
“Due to the intervention carried out by the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cundinamarca and the omission of the Ministry of Environment in the Jaboque Wetland located in the town of Engativá de Bogotá, the water cycle of the Sabana is being exponentially affected causing scarcity, contamination and putting in emblematic and unique species in the world such as the Tingua Bogotana, the Pantano Cucarachero and the Chamicero inhabit this wetland and are in danger of extinction. Wetlands as regulators of the water cycle, are the habitat and place of reproduction of thousands of species around the continent, being a complete and sacred ecosystem where more than 190 species of birds and 12 species of mammals live, in addition to being the temporary refuge of 65 migratory species”, explained the lobbyist.
The Vice President of the Council maintained that the investigations carried out together with her work team within the framework of her political control functions, have managed to demonstrate the irreparable destruction of a considerable part of the ecosystem through the use of backhoes, which, according to her, have devastated with the flora and fauna of the place displacing species of birds and mammals that inhabit there.
In this sense, Quigua published a video on his Twitter account in which he is shown, in the company of a local resident, asking the control entities to investigate the “patrimonial detriment” that, according to him, violates the rights of nature. and good living in the city.
“#SOSHumedalJaboque, thanks to the citizens who live next to the Jaboque wetland and the Bogotá River for inviting me and being their voice to denounce this ecocide in the hands of CAR Cundinamarca and the District Administration. Ingrid Reyes shared a poem with us, dedicated to the birds and wetland. With great sensitivity we understand the relationship that they have woven with this living system”, stated Quigua.
Currently, the work is apparently suspended, however, according to the Vice President, she explains that there is no clarity regarding the near future of this important ecosystem that flows into the Bogotá River, thus preventing its recovery and progress of the region’s water system.
Under this premise, through a written communication addressed to the Ministry of the Environment and control agencies, Councilwoman Ati Quigua demanded an urgent intervention to evaluate and control the activities of CAR Cundinamarca.
In addition, he demanded compliance with Bogotá’s environmental commitment, the right to water and territory. “This Chupkua deserves to be repaired and revitalized. Women caretakers and the plural participation of the community are key in the recovery of the wetland and the repair of the tissue with a biocultural approach”, she concluded.