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The Meaning Behind Colombia’s COP16 Logo

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Image COP16 Cali Colombia
Colombia presents the logo of the COP16 for biodiversity to be held in Cali. Credit: Ministry of Environment

Colombia has presented the logo of COP16, the biodiversity summit to be held in the city of Cali next October. The Minister of Environment, Susana Muhamad, and the Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, David Cooper, presented the COP16 image and slogan in Nairobi, Kenya.

The logo is inspired by the Inirida flower, an endemic species in Colombia, with 36 petals representing the 23 UN biodiversity targets and the 13 ecoregions prioritized in the National Development Plan.

“Making peace with nature is the central message,” says Minister Muhamad, emphasizing the need to rethink the economic model to avoid overexploitation and environmental pollution.

“We are launching the official logo of the COP16 in Cali, which is the flower of Inirida, which will represent the message of Peace with Nature, which means the representation of those unique issues that biodiversity brings. The flower is endemic to Guainia and it is a flower that never dies, its petals never fall apart. We hope that COP16 in Colombia can help the world to make that peace with nature, so that we can sustain and maintain life on the planet forever,” said Minister Muhamad.

This is the first time a flower has been used as a symbol at biodiversity COPs. The celebration in Cali will not only boost environmental conservation, but is also expected to catalyze regional economic development. The projected investment is approximately US$3.5 million, with the expectation of attracting some 12,000 delegates from 200 countries over two weeks.

The event is expected to generate a significant economic impact, estimated at $87 billion pesos. It is anticipated that 60% of this figure will translate into increased demand for logistics services, which will boost the local sector and create new employment opportunities.

Peace with Nature

Peace with Nature, the message that will be sent from Colombia to the world, is based on the recognition of the current uneasy relationship between humans and ecosystems due to man’s extractive activities that overexploit the capacities of nature.

Legal and illegal extractive economies, particularly those associated with fossil fuel economies such as mineral or hydrocarbon extraction, generate degrading practices that violate human rights and increase the contexts of conflict and violence. It is in this scenario that the world must begin to make “Peace with Nature”.

In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, stated that making peace with nature requires understanding that we are facing a triple crisis that intertwines climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity, which, in the end, becomes a suicidal war, because without nature, humanity could not exist on the planet.

Image COP16 Cali Colombia
The Inirida flower is a plant endemic to the Colombian Amazon region. Credit: Mateo Fernandez / CC BY-SA 4.0

Cali COP16

The Convention on Biological Diversity is an international treaty adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into force in 1993, with the purpose of conserving biological diversity, ensuring its sustainable use, and guaranteeing the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of natural resources.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or the Biodiversity COP, is held every two years and brings together representatives of 196 Parties to the Convention, as well as intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities and other relevant stakeholders.

The COP is an international space to establish agendas, commitments and frameworks for action in relation to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, and to address challenges such as the climate crisis, loss of natural habitats, overexploitation of natural resources, among others. COP16 will be held in Cali, Colombia, between October 21 and November 1, 2024.

Image COP16 Cali Colombia
Presentation in Nairobi (Kenya) of the logo of COP16 to be hosted by Cali in October. Credit: Ministry of Environment

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