festival of flowers in Medellin

Colombia! Wow. Breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures – this South American gem isn’t just easy on the eyes, it’s serious about protecting them. They recently joined the prestigious Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), showing their commitment to responsible travel.

Think sandy Caribbean beaches meeting the mighty Andean peaks. Colombia boasts incredible biodiversity – a wildlife haven ranking among the most biodiverse on Earth! Bogotá, the capital, is a fascinating mix of old and new, where historic charm strolls hand-in-hand with modern skyscrapers.

But Colombia’s commitment goes way deeper than pretty pictures. By 2022, a whopping 30% of the country’s land was designated as protected areas. Climate change? They’re all over it. Aiming for a massive 51% reduction in emissions by 2030, with zero net deforestation in the same timeframe. And their ultimate goal? Carbon neutrality by 2050 – ambitious, much?

Walking the Walk, Not Just Talking the Talk

This dedication to sustainability isn’t just lip service. Colombia has a rock-solid framework promoting social justice, environmental protection, and economic growth. Here’s the cool stuff:

  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Public and private players join forces, sharing best practices in sustainable investment.
  • Going Green: A special system steers economic activities and investments towards a sustainable future.
  • Waste Not, Want Not: Colombia embraces the circular economy, encouraging businesses to reuse waste materials.
  • Less Plastic, More Paradise: Laws are phasing out single-use plastics, and they’re actively reducing plastic use overall.
  • Sustainable Tourism for All: A dedicated policy ensures tourism development goes hand-in-hand with protecting natural resources.

“Colombia, the land of beauty, understands the importance of working together to protect nature while boosting economic growth,” said Colombia’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Germán Umaña. He sees joining the GSTC as a way to learn from others and share Colombia’s own sustainability initiatives, especially their developing Sustainable Tourism Policy.

A Beacon of Sustainability in the Region

The upcoming Latin American and Caribbean GSTC Summit in Santa Marta is another sign of Colombia’s leadership. This private event, co-hosted by the GSTC and various partners, will bring together experts and leaders from across the region to discuss advancing sustainable tourism. The focus? Protecting biodiversity, preserving cultural values, and ensuring economic sustainability.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is thrilled to welcome Colombia on board. “Their commitment to environmental responsibility is truly inspiring,” said GSTC CEO Randy Durband. Colombia is a shining example for the region, and the GSTC looks forward to their continued success in their sustainability journey.