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What is expected with the arrival of 'Aquaman' to the Ministry of Environment in Colombia?

Ricardo Lozano is an ideal professional to exercise as Minister given his knowledge of the environmental problems of the coffee country

¿Qué se espera con la llegada de ‘Aquaman’ al Ministerio de Ambiente en Colombia?

LatinAmerican Post tried to interview the new Minister of the Environment; however, his response was that as soon as he received "instructions from the president-elect, he would give interviews to the different media".

Leer en español: ¿Qué se espera con la llegada de ‘Aquaman’ al Ministerio de Ambiente en Colombia?

It is not about the superhero of the Justice League comrade of Superman and Batman, he lacks supernatural powers that allow him to give orders to the marine creatures, he is simply a geologist of the Universidad Industrial de Santander in northeastern Colombia: Ricardo Lozano Picón.

All the media have registered his resume and his previous jobs in both the public sector and the private sector and his origin in Santander, Colombia. As a good representative of his land, Lozano speaks pretty clear and has no folds in his positions, which he defends with solid arguments while listening to counterarguments.

Until his selection as the new Minister of Environment, he has been serving as the director of the National Water Center of the National Association of Businessmen of Colombia (Andi, in Spanish). Lozano was also the deputy director of Environmental Studies of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies IDEAM, where he later became its general director from 2008 to 2013.

With this appointment, the elect president of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, ensures that in the Environmental portfolio, for the first time in many years, a person who has been submerged in the subject of the policies of the sector, knows the Colombian needs. Above all, he is a qualified professional for the position given his knowledge of the problems, possible solutions and true state of the environmental sector in Colombia.

The designation of Lozano Picón, as the new Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of the most biodiverse country in the world per square meter, breaks the long tradition of delivering that portfolio with the political quotas criteria to professionals without any preparation in the sector or with serious flaws in their resumes for their links with private companies dedicated to extractivism, lawyers, engineers, and even experts in customer service.

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The president-elect assured that the appointment of Ricardo Lozano "represents a new generation motivated by sowing in Colombia a culture of respect and protection of our natural heritage."

However, not only in the environment he is an expert, Lozano is also in the subject of communications, not only for his degree in specialization in Media of the Universidad de los Andes, title obtained in 1995, also for his performance in the advice of the internationally lauded Bibo communicative campaign of the newspaper El Espectador. For almost a decade, the new minister devoted himself to promoting the communication of the environmental issue at all levels and to all publics, managing to group large multinationals from the private sector, research institutes, the media, and communities in general to demonstrate the need for the protection of Natural Resources.

Lozano has also been a columnist for the newspaper El Colombiano, for several years, from where he has promoted fundamental, necessary and imperative issues so that the country can advance economically and socially supported in its natural resources. The theme of territorial ordering and the integral management of water, the latter, his great fight flag.

This is what he reveals in one of his most recent columns of opinion published in El Colombiano, in which he states that "when the country understands that water is everything to grow in a sustained manner, only that day we can be sure that we go through the correct road. The integral management of water is the only way we have to travel in the coming years, integrating the role of institutionality, knowledge, technology, conservation, restoration, participation, financing, and monitoring.

What is expected from the management of 'Aquaman' as a new minister?

Lozano has proven to be convinced of the need for the environmental issue to be transversal to all productive sectors of the country. Some accuse him of working hand in hand with them, but he asks himself: "How can we achieve protection of natural resources and at the same time economic and social prosperity if the environmental issue is not discussed with all the productive sectors of the country?" Great success, if one takes into account that any economy on the planet rides on the back of the use of natural resources.

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For this reason, one of the great allies on these issues is the environmental engineer Rodrigo Suárez, who from the Climate Change Directorate of the Ministry of Environment, promoted the mainstreaming of the issue to all government ministries. Suárez managed to include advisors in Climate Change in the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture, Health, and Mines, among others, so that each of the policies and decisions adopted by the government was privileged by information coming from technical and scientific knowledge and in this way diminish the possibility of a decision that threatens against the productive future of the country.

Suarez was the coordinator of the splicing team between the incoming and outgoing governments on environmental issues and worked with Lozano in shaping this transit. Therefore, the creation of an interdisciplinary team is expected to make, for the first time in Colombia, charge the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development a preponderant and leading role in the decision making of public policy in the different productive sectors of the country.

In addition to mainstreaming the environmental issue to the productive sectors and portfolios of the national government, the integral management of water and territorial ordering, it is expected that in the era of 'Aquaman', the importance of the environmental issue will be communicated assertively.

Far from the disappearance of the SINA, National Environmental System that will surely be strengthened in its five research institutes, IDEAM, SINCHI, IIAP, INVEMAR and Humboldt, National Natural Parks, a strengthening of the system is expected. Surely, there will also be unquestionably the modification in some Regional Environmental Authorities that have not yielded good results with respect to their transparency, nor to their management, becoming political forts for regional corruption.

In Colombia, thanks to the frenetic and fanatical polarization, the clumsy idea of ​​distorting any right decision that my political or ideological contradictor has been enforced, dividing, dissociating and breaking down any brilliant idea or any success has become the indicated. That is why some opponents of the policies of Uribismo have underestimated the appointment of Lozano, adjudicating it to a political stratagem of inclusion of the LGBTI community in the ministerial cabinet. However, that is as much as ignoring the virtues, the preparation, the prestige and the achievements accomplished by Lozano who owes nothing to anyone, who has no political sponsors, and whose strongest ideological weapons are a perfect combination between technical and scientific preparation with an impeccable record of honorability, that is the new Minister of Environment in Colombia.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño
Translated from “¿Qué se espera con la llegada de ‘Aquaman’ al Ministerio de Ambiente en Colombia?”

 

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