From November 24 to December 1, 2016 the Week of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta took place in the Museum of the Caribbean in Barranquilla, Colombia. The event was organized by The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Caribbean Cultural Park, and indigenous communities, to raise awareness on the importance of this unique landscape and the rights of its indigenous peoples. The event provided a platform and opportunity for the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Kogi, Wiwa, Arhuaco, and Kankuamo) to share their thoughts and visions on the protection of the ecosystems and cultural legacy of the world's highest coastal mountain range.
For the indigenous peoples, the key is to work collectively in order to care for the region’s common home: The Sierra Nevada. It is there where 36 rivers are born, supplying water and crucial ecosystem services to 21 municipalities of the Magdalena, La Guajira and Cesar departments. Moreover, the Sierra Nevada is habitually identified as the planet’s single most important site for threatened and endemic biodiversity, boasting the world’s highest rate of avian endemism.
Hence, the indigenous peoples are concerned that one day the Sierra Nevada will no longer resist the pressures of humanity and climate change. The effects are already being felt.
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