Business, Trade & Investment

Colombia Conservation Conference - An Opportunity for Green Business

“Colombia – An Opportunity for Green Business”

Colombia is going through remarkable change as a result of the ongoing Peace Process.  New areas are opening up for development, with opportunities to address some of the current poverty statistics.

Colombia is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries on Planet Earth.  Only 1% of the world’s land mass, the country contains 10% of its biodiversity.  And Colombia has a range of other natural resources, including oil and natural gas, precious metals, iron ore and coal.  Both the biodiversity and natural resources have a huge potential for wealth creation, but with the attendant risk of uncontrolled development.  In order to ensure that opportunities are developed that secure the long-term health of the country, the Colombian Government have highlighted the importance of sustainable business or ‘Green Business’ in playing a major role in investment projects.

This Conference will be divided into 2 sessions, each with keynote speakers. The first session will concentrate on the implications of the recently launched National Development Plan 2014-2018 in regards to doing green business in Colombia, while the second session will focus on how this can be achieved.  An area of particular focus will be the central Magdalena Valley, which has recently been stabilised under the peace process and has the paradox of being both an important area for investment but also one of the world’s most important biodiversity ‘hotspots’.

The Conference will be of great interest to those companies either already working in Colombia, or in Latin America in general, or looking to develop new opportunities there, and who need to take into account how government concerns on sustainability and conservation will impact on their strategy and planning.

Programme:

14:30    Registration and Coffee

15:00    Opening of Conference by Baroness Hooper CMG, Vice-President of Canning House and Chair of All Party Parliamentary Committee for Latin America

15:05    Video Welcoming and Presentation of the Green Economy Strategy of the 2014-2018 National Development Plan by Mr. Gabriel Vallejo-López, Colombian Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development

15:15    First Panel“National Plan – emphasis on environmental elements”

Chaired by:  Dr Jago Cooper, Curator of the Americas, British Museum, with

  • Pablo Vieira-Samper, Colombian Vice-Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development (via videolink)
  • Liesel van Ast, Global Canopy Programme’s Manager of Natural Capital Declaration
  • Dr Andrés Link, WCS Alliance for the Middle Magdalena

15:45    Q&A Session

16:05    Tea and Coffee

16:20    Keynote Presentation by Dr Ray Victurine, Director of Conservation Finance Programme, WCS:  ‘How do businesses minimise their impact on biodiversity loss’, using the example of development in the Magdalena Medio

16:50    Second Panel“BBOP (Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme): an opportunity for Green Business”

Chaired by Arturo Wallace, BBC Mundo and former BBC Correspondent to Colombia, with

  • Matthew Hatchwell, Chief Executive, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Europe)
  • Neil Maddison, Head of Conservation Programmes, Bristol Zoological Society
  • Valeria Boron, Panthera Project and PhD candidate at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent

17:35    Q&A Session

17:55    Conclusion Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Néstor Osorio

18:15    Thanks by Mr. Robert Capurro, CEO of Canning House

18:20    Reception

19:30    End of the Conference

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