Agrarian & Environmental Timeline

This timeline extends from the 1930s to 2020. It situates important events in Colombia's history of environmental policy alongside developments in agrarian policy, extractive activities, and significant national events and geopolitical interventions. The timeline was organized by Kristina Lyons and Alejandra Osejo. It does not intend to be exhaustive, but rather reflects the inextricable connections between environmental, agrarian, and socio-political events and processes.

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Environmental Policy

Agrarian Policy / Extractivism

Socio-political events

1936

1944

1948

Creation of first protected area: La Macarena Biological Reserve

"La Violencia" Bipartisan violence between Liberals and Conservatives.

1948 - 1959

1958

Law 81 “integrationist policy” for indigenous peoples breaks up feudal system in resguardos and attempts to transition towards capitalist agriculture

Conservatives and Liberals agree to form National Front in a bid to end the civil war; other parties banned

1959

Law 2 establishes Forestry Economy of the Nation and Conservation of Renewable National Resources

State directed colonization towards the edges of the agricultural frontier

(tierras baldías)

1959 - 1963

1960

Creation of the first six natural parks in the country

1960 - 1975

1961

Agrarian Reform Law 135 

Alliance for Progress established economic cooperation between U.S. and Latin America: promotes Green Revolution

1961 - 1970

1964

Consolidation of liberal guerrilla movements, the FARC-EP, ELN, EPL being the largest

1967

Law 60 State initiates mining sector as motor of national industrialization

1968

Creation of National Institute of Renewable Natural Resources
(Inderena)

Agrarian Reform Law 1

1970

Marijuana and cocaine production in Colombia intensifies 

1971

Left-wing M-19 guerrilla group forms

1972

Pact of Chicoral between traditional political class, cattle ranchers, and other landholding interests 

1974

National Code of Renewable Natural Resources established

Decree 2310 assigns the administration of oil and gas to state company, Ecopetrol

1977

18 natural parks are established by presidential decree

1984

Continued expansion of the agricultural frontier

1986

Right-wing paramilitary groups begin murder campaign against Patriotic Union Party (UP) politicians, amid continuing violence by left-wing groups and death squads run by drugs cartels

1988

Decree 2655 Code of Mines established

Law 30 establishes that all territories granted to indigenous people will be in the figure of resguardos

1989

M-19 becomes a legal political party after reaching peace agreement with government

1990

Initiation of economic liberalism

1991

New Political "Green" Constitution established

1992

Colombia ratifies the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

1993

Law 99 creates the Ministry of Environment and National Environmental System (SINA) 

1994

Agrarian Law 160 Peasant Reserve Zones created

1996

1997

1998

Decree 1320 establishes prior consultation rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities

Law 70 Collective territories of Afro-descendant communities established

Aerial fumigation with glyphosate begins to be implemented as counternarcotic strategy

Cocalero Marches protest impending war on drugs

United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary organization consolidated

1999

Peace talks formerly launched between Pastrana administration and FARC-EP

2000

Area covered by mining titles, oil and natural gas production markedly increases linked to dynamics of armed conflict

Plan Colombia launched: US-Colombia war on Drugs provides mainly military aid from the US to fight drug-trafficking and rebels who profit and protect the trade

2001

Law 685 Mining Code established

2004

Decision VII 28 of Convention on Biological Diversity promotes creation and maintenance of more national and regional protected areas

2006

Official demobilization of AUC paramilitary coalition, but criminal bands continue to operate

2007

Hundreds of thousands protest in Bogota against kidnappings and conflict in the country

2010

Decree 2372 creates the National System of Protected Areas 

2011

Decree 3573 creates Enviromental Licensing Agency (ANLA)

 Law of Victims for Indigenous Communities established

2012

Free trade agreement with the US goes into effect

2013

Decree 0934 stipulates that mining ordinance is not part of territorial ordinance

National Agrarian, Ethnic and Popular Strike 

2014

Agrarian Census published amidst controversy over ommision of category of campesinos

2016

Declaration of Rights of Nature: Atrato River

Peace Accords signed between national government and FARC-EP 

2017

Declarations of Rights of Nature: Speckled Andean bear
(Oso de anteojos)

219,973 hectares of forest are lost in the first year after signing of peace accord 

2018

Declarations of Rights of Nature sentences for the Páramo of Pisba and the country's Amazon 

Constitutional Court blocks citizen's right to organize popular referendems (consultas populares) to decide over extractive projects

The country loses 198,000 more hectares of forest

2019

Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) recognizes “nature” as victim of armed conflict in country's transitional justice process

Former Farc rebel group commander Iván Marquéz defies 2016 peace agreement and calls on supporters to take up arms again

Declaration of Rights of Nature: Los Nevados Nevados National Park; Isla de Salamanca Parkway; Combeima, Cocora, Coello, La Plata, Cauca, Quindio, Pance, Magdalena Rivers; Departaments of Boyacá and Nariño

Digital

Environmental

Justice

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