Main Environmental Problems in Colombia

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

On many occasions, the regions and countries of the world that have a valuable source of natural wealth also suffer from various environmental problems. This scenario of irrational uses of natural resources and environmental deterioration can be found in Colombia, the second country in the world that experiences the most environmental conflicts in its day-to-day life. Without a doubt, the loss of forests, water and biodiversity puts the security of the Latin American country at risk.

There are numerous problems related to environmental issues that concern Colombian locals, governments and institutions. We could group them into three types of environmental problems: those related to free access to the country's natural resources (carrying out illegal activities of use, exploitation and trade), the lack of investments by the State to favor the protection and conservation of the environment, as well as the lack of awareness, information and environmental education in the Colombian population.

Let's get to know the main environmental problems in Colombia reading this Green Ecologist article.

Deforestation and forest fires in Colombia

During the past year 2022, 70% of deforestation that the territory of Colombia suffered was specifically in the Amazon jungle. The lung of the planet has been seriously affected within the Colombian territory, where thousands of hectares of tropical forests are deforested in order to establish new monoculture areas and meadows to feed cattle. Here you can see more about the Deforestation of the Amazon jungle.

Deforestation processes follow non-productive models, where infrastructure projects are also applied without an environmental license. On the other hand, the numerous fires in the northern Amazon of Colombia They occur as a strategy to expand the country's agricultural borders and continue with illegal deforestation.

In these other Green Ecologist articles we tell you what forest fires are and how they occur and the consequences of a forest fire.

Anthropic or man-made pollution

Another of the main environmental problems in Colombia is that numerous anthropic activities (carried out by humans) are responsible for the improper management of renewable and non-renewable resources, both in urban centers and in rural areas.

Bliss anthropic pollution is reflected in environmental problems that entails the bad treatment of domestic wastewater (water pollution), the catastrophic vehicular and noise pollution in cities; as well as the improper handling of solid waste and its use, and the salinization of soils (soil contamination).

Poaching and illegal trafficking of flora and fauna of Colombia

Several National Natural Parks of Colombia denounce, year after year, the numerous activities of poaching and / or sports, as well as the illegal trafficking of flora and fauna that takes place within protected areas.

Specifically, they denounce that almost 50% of the wood that Colombia sells with other countries is illegal, being the selective logging one of the main dangers suffered by the Colombian Amazon rainforest.

Regarding fauna, animals of all groups (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish) are killed or traded illegally, a violent and unnecessary practice that does not try to control the population of animal communities, but simply to satisfy the cruelty of some human beings. In addition, this especially affects the species of animals in danger of extinction in Colombia.

Illegal mining in Colombia

The National Government of Colombia has the last word on the mining activities that take place in the soil and subsoil of the country. Day after day, numerous towns and different Colombian regions struggle to prevent the illegal practices of extractive industries engaged in mining.

Mainly, open pit mining is responsible for the extraction of metals and precious stones of small, medina and large scale. These mining activities constantly put at risk the ecological and cultural heritage of the territories in which the mines are built.

Armed conflicts in Colombia

In Colombia, during the last 25 years, at least 11 park rangers have been violently assassinated while working caring for natural and protected areas of the country. These murders occurred as a consequence of the illegal business interests that move enormous amounts of money within Colombian territory, as is the case with drug trafficking, illegal mining, and clashes between the military, guerrillas, and other criminal groups.

Apart from being a serious social and economic problem, this is also one of the problems suffered by the Colombian environment. It is common to find destroyed forest areas and really plagued by violence and that especially affect the environment of Colombia, and the world, because they are areas that serve as biodiversity corridors (connecting species that are found in different habitats).

Exploitation of natural resources in obtaining fuels

The environmental consequences of the exploitation of natural resources to obtain fuels are truly invasive and devastating.

In colombia, the practice of fracking (hydraulic fracturing to extract gas and oil from the subsoil) and the oil palm farms (gender Elaeis) are the main activities used to obtain and generate biofuels. Both are to blame for the depletion of the wealth of natural resources that we can find in the soils and subsoils of Colombian territory.

Industrial activities that cause environmental problems in Colombia

Both mountain areas, as well as those in which mangroves, jungles and oceanic coasts predominate are victims of industrial activities (legal and illegal) that are launched year after year in Colombia.

In order to ensure better infrastructure or a more prosperous industrial activity and economy, bridges, ports and roads are being built in the name of progress. A progress that endangers pristine ecosystems and rich in animal and plant species (many of them still unknown to science). Find out more about the Ecosystems of Colombia in this other article.

Garbage and hazardous waste

The waste and garbage management generated by the thousands of Colombian inhabitants is an environmental problem that has worried the country for years, especially in urban centers, where they estimate that by 2030 there will not be enough space to store 80% of the garbage generated.

Numerous measures focused on the use of waste as well as its optimal management, have appeared in Colombia as strategies for caring for the planet.

If you want to read more articles similar to Main environmental problems in Colombia, we recommend that you enter our Pollution category.

  • Bermúdez, A. (April 23, 2022) Colombia: the guardians of the parks that the war took away. Especial tierra de Resystematic. Colombia: MONGABAY LATAM. Recovered from
  • Sierra, J.P. (December 27, 2022) A Colombian company manufactures domestic waste compactors. Medellín, Colombia: EFEVerde. Recovered from
  • Paz, A. J. (July 11, 2022). Colombia: 70% of deforestation in 2022 occurred in the Amazon. MONGABAY LATAM. Recovered from
  • The Government of Colombia asks to prohibit sport hunting (February 6, 2022). Bogota Colombia: EFEverde. Recovered from
  • Paz, A.J (June 17, 2022) Colombia: after Salento, what will happen to mining and the Municipal Agreements? MONGABAY LATAM. Recovered from
  • Muñoz, L. (August 29, 2022) Colombia, the comptroller general asks to stop the exploitation with fracking. EFEverde. Recovered from
  • Uquillas, L. (May 30, 2022) The construction of a port threatens the ecosystems of the Colombian Gulf of Tribugá. EFE Green. Recovered from
You will help the development of the site, sharing the page with your friends
This page in other languages: