Updated 03:00 PM EDT, Tue, Oct 20, 2020

Colombia Bans Mining in Moors to Protect Water Supply

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El Nino has been seen as a global problem, particularly in countries across South America. In Colombia, water shortages threaten the country, so efforts are being made in order to address the dwindling water supply.

The county's moorlands or paramos in the local dialect are said to be rich in oil and gold. However, the Colombian government has banned mining in the area as it is believed that damaging the ecosystem will cause a devastating effect on the country's water supply.

Colombia's mining industry, particularly for gold and silver, has remained a lucrative business in the country. However, with El Nino's effects on the country, it appears that the mining industry has to take a backseat, at least for now until conditions in the country improve.

Colombia is already reeling from the effects of El Nino which is reported to last until June of this year, Telesur TV reports. The severe drought in the country has already caused countless forest fires and is expected to take an even worse turn in March or April.

According to the BBC, the Colombian court will be revoking around 350 mining licences should the move be pushed through. President Juan Manuel Santos has already appealed to Colombians everywhere to conserve whatever water they can during the coming months.

Santos also went on the record by stating that this was by far the second strongest one on record and there is expected to be fewer rains this year. The court's decision to overturn the country's previous ruling allowing the mining corporations to continue their operations until the licenses expired came through on Monday.

As expected, the country's environmental activists have supported the move, saying that while it was a bold decision on the part of the government to ban mining in the moorlands, the effects will be great for the country's delicate state.

Colombian Congressman Alirio Uribe Munoz said that the court's decision prioritized the quality of life in the country, which in this case means providing adequate water supply to its citizens. Business will have to come second.

The country's moors contain vast grasslands and shrubbery which allow water to be contained during the country's wet season and have it released when the dry season arrives.

In 2015, the Colombian court has moved to protect 1.66 million hectares of forestland to be off limits to mining activities.

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