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Climate protection

Minister Müller: "Latin America is our number one partner for the protection of tropical forests"


Federal Minister Gerd Müller visits the model farm Finca Mexico near San Jose de Guaviare during his visit in Colombia.

04.03.2015 |

Berlin – This afternoon in the BMZ in Berlin, to coincide with an event entitled "New outlook for German development policy in Latin America and the Caribbean", Federal Minister Gerd Müller presented a paper outlining future priority areas for cooperation with the continent of South America. The main focus will be on cooperation in the field of environmental and climate protection. The aim is a partnership based on shared values and interests. The German government’s Latin America Strategy will supply the basis for this new direction.

"Latin America is our number one partner for the protection of tropical forests,” Minister Müller said. "The continent has the biggest areas of tropical rainforest in the world and is the lungs of our planet. Almost half of all species are at home here. We need to preserve this inestimable treasure trove. Together we want, in addition, to advance the transition towards sustainable energy systems. Many Latin American countries are now emerging economies and are taking on more responsibility. We are supporting them as they embark on a path of sustainable development."

One such project aims to increase Latin American capacities for generating electricity from renewable energies by 2,500 megawatts. This is equal to the entire generating capacity of Bolivia and Nicaragua. Furthermore, efforts to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the Amazon are to be stepped up. A bio-corridor is also to be set up, joining together protected forest areas from Mexico to Panama. Another priority area is the protection and renaturing of important coastal and maritime protection areas, for example, the Central American coral reef: stretching across an area of 1,000 kilometres, it is the second most important reef in the world.

Despite its strengths, Latin America still has high levels of violence and criminality, which is linked in many cases to the cultivation of drugs. That is why promoting human rights and the rule of law, and tackling the common problem of violence in daily life are particular priority areas of cooperation, for example, with projects to curb increasing criminality among young people.

Minister Müller was in Latin America last December, where he saw for himself in the southern part of Colombia the dramatic extent of deforestation in the Amazon. He also took the opportunity to find out more about the work being carried out through rural development projects in which farmers are learning with German support to develop other sources of income instead of growing coca. In Peru, in the margins of the UN Climate Conference, he launched a programme for the use of geothermal power in Latin America and promised more funds for protecting tropical forests on the continent.

The BMZ’s Latin America paper can be found on the Ministry’s website:

Link to a film with highlights from Minister Müller’s visit to Colombia in 2014 (in German)

Shortlink for this press release

BMZ glossary

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