The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Corporación Ambiental Empresarial (Caem), a subsidiary of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce in alliance with the Jaime Duque Park Foundation, they launched the La Esperanza forest. It is a natural space that was created thinking of paying tribute to the people who died contaminated with covid-19 and in which the planting of 70,000 native trees is projected with the purpose of protecting the country from the effects of climate change.
According to Semana Magazine, the planting is financed by the national government in memory of the victims of the pandemic and the place will be called Bosque La Esperanza, located at kilometer 34 of the Autopista Norte, in the city of Tocancipá. Despite being located very close to Bogotá, it will be a national park in which all regions will be represented. The native species that will be planted are walnut, cedar, guayacán, oak, mancle, bear’s hand, sabanero rubber or alder, this taking into account that they are the species that best grow in this type of climate.
The adaptation of the La Esperanza forest has a cost of 4,200 million pesos. Of that figure, the Ministry of the Environment will contribute 2,940 million and the Caem will contribute 1,260 million, according to the entities.
This is part of the “Sembrar nos unites” campaign, which seeks to reforest the national territory with more than 180 million trees by 2022 as a national goal.
A similar project exists in the El Pajonal de Cogua Natural Reserve, 70 kilometers from Bogotá, where 3,000 trees have been planted in his memory that give life to the Páramo de Guerrero. This initiative to repair one of the most destroyed natural reserves in the country began 5 years ago. The difference between the projects is that in this the relatives of those killed by covid-19 release the ashes of the victims in a symbolic act.
The Páramo de Guerrero is a vital resource of the Neusa reservoir, which supplies water to the savannah and the north of Bogotá. Although the dismissal of the dead by covid began a few months ago, this practice has been carried out by thousands of families since 2015, which became an alternative to fire their loved ones while rehabilitating the ecosystem, devastated by the unbridled exploitation of the soil .
The reserve, which is located at 3,400 meters above sea level, has become a space for many Colombians to bring mourning outside of the traditional standards of funeral homes, churches and ceremonies.
According to the Colombia Reserva page, it all started. “Carrying out a restoration process is complex and expensive, Therefore, in the search to obtain permanent own resources to ensure the continuity of the restoration work, we have implemented the “Renacer” Funeral Bond program, through which a native tree is planted in the name of a deceased loved one.”.
An example is the case of Carlos Eduardo Gutiérrez who planted, along with four trees, the ashes of his wife María Emilse Rodríguez, who died at the age of 64 on May 20 from covid-19 with the help of her two twin grandchildren.
“In tribute to my beloved wife who died of covid (…) I thought it was excellent and fabulous to come and leave the ashes in a free space and I think she will be at peace“Gutiérrez told the Efe agency after stating with a smile that” he had never seen such a beautiful land “as the one in which he has just scattered the remains of María Emilse.