Colombia to eradicate deforestation

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A study published October 17th revealed that Colombia lost 120.9k hectacres of natural forests in 2013, with 57% being within the Amazon region. Colombia will attempt to completely eradicate Amazonian deforestation by 2020, to promote a sustainable, low-carbon development model for the region, said the Colombian president. – Source

 

Consumerism and Conservation in Bogotá

News on the two items below came out at the same time, which I found interesting.

Eden Mall

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“Just granted planning constent, Eden Mall will be Colombia’s largest shopping centre, covering an area of  320,000 m2 and 134,000 m2 dedicated to retail space.

It is located in the southeast intersection of Avenida Boyacá and Calle 13, in the city of Bogota – a strategic location in the capital and a place of major residential growth.  The location connects the Mall to the rest of the city, with immediate access from any of the major arterial roads.

USD$500 million is to be invested in the project and will include international and national brands and retailers in over 350 stores, a food court, restaurants, cinemas and approx 20,000 m2 for family entertainment, plus parking for 4,000 vehicles.

Construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2015, and open in 2017.  When open, the Mall is expected to attract circa 2 million visitors monthly. ” – Source

Ecological Park

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“Bogota conservation authorities plan to create a bio-diversity corridor to preserve ground water and natural plant species in what would be the largest urban ecological park in Latin America.

An Environmental Management Plan has been created for the area located north of Bogota and covering regions Guaymaral, Corpas and Suba.

Regional Autonomous Corporation (CAR) has banned construction on roughly 1,400 acres of land situated on Thomas van der Hammen Forest reserve, and aims to build a huge ecological reserve which would be the largest in the whole of Latin America. The project is expected to cost around 73 million dollars. ” – Source

Building homes differently in Colombia

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“Building homes using recycled plastic bottles – that’s the innovative idea of a design school in Colombia specialised in sustainable habitat. The inspiration came from the ancient “wattle and daub” housebuilding technique: the idea is to stack recycled bottles filled with sand and earth. The design school offers courses to teach students how to empower communities by using alternative and accessible technologies.” – Source, Source 2

La Casa Vergara

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“Colombian architect Jose Andres Vallejo is the inspired genius behind La Casa Vergara, an innovative dome-shaped residence built with sustainable earthbag solutions. Constructed in Bogota in 2011, La Casa Vergara uses traditional earth (superadobe concept from Iran) to create a naturally cool residence with a gentle environmental impact. Covered with concrete finishing, building from earth is not only cost effective, but also offers seismic resistance and peace of mind.” – Source

Café Tero vs Café de Colombia

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The Café de Colombia brand, a pioneer in certificates of origin, obtained its name in 2005. Due to its particular condition, it’s under protection, and that consists of stopping anyone from registering any sign that reproduces, imitates or contains a certificate of origin. Therefore, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce decided to refuse registration of the brand Cafe Tero requested by Inox Sentry.

“I consider the decision to be a little exagerated given that the National Federation of Coffee-growers has a monopoly on the evocations, “Colombia” and “café”. Only for having the word of the product associated with the national flag, it makes reference to the certificate of origin. I believe that it’s an incorrect interpretation on behalf of SIC”, said a lawyer specialized in industrial property, Lola Kandelaft, from the Muños Abogados firm.

The lawyer Javier Delgadillo, also a specialist in the field of law, from the firm Q&D Abogados, takes an opposite view. “I share SIC’s decision because the registration of a brand should be denied if if reproduces the concept of a protected certificate of origin.”

He also adds that “the decision was successful because the protections don’t limit themselves to signs that reproduce its name, but rather it encompasses any graphic representation or any other representation that may evoke the same concept.

A certificate of origin is the name or indication of a geographic location, that may be a country or determined region, which designates a product that by being originated from said region, and by the customs of production or transformations of its inhabitants, has characteristics or a reputation that makes it different from similar products coming from other geographic regions.

On the list headed by Café de Colombia for certificates of origin, are Café de Cauca, Café de Nariño, Café de Huila, Chalupa del Huila, Queso del Caquetá, Queso Paipa, Bizcocho de Achira del Huila, Clavel de Colombia, Crisantemo de Colombia and Rosa de Colombia.

On this occasion, the lawsuit was started against Café de Colombia on October 16, 2013, when Inox Sentry requested from SIC the registration of its brand Café Tero to distinguish its grain, which is included in class 30 of the International Nice Classification.

Once the request was published, the Federation presented its opposition citing pertanent laws. First, they say that “they are registrable signs which may mislead trade circles or the public, particularly in regards to geographical origin, nature, manufacturing process, characteristics, qualities or suitability for employment of related products or services.”

Second, “one cannot register items that reproduce, imitate or contain a protected certificate of origin.”

The opposition says “in virtue of the declaration of the protection of the Café de Colombia certificate of origin, no third party can register or use a merging of these expressions.”

Facing of the decision of the Department to refuse registration of the brand, Inox Sentry appealed. However, on appeal the denial was upheld.” – Source (ES)

Bogotá presents $7.5b plan for metro

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Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro on Tuesday revealed the latest plans to construct a $7.5 billion metro line, the first in Colombia’s capital. The plans were presented after a thorough study of the soil of the Bogota high plains. According to the Spanish engineer Jose Maria Villarroel, who designed the mass transit system, the metro will be able to transport some 900,000 commuters a day and will be able to function without conductors. The engineer said the metro line will have 27 stations through which a train will pass every two and a half minute.

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While at the beginning of the presentation Villarroel said the construction of the metro would cost $5 billion, the engineer then added an extra $2.5 billion would have to be spent due to the wet Bogota soil. In 2011, the Petro administration said the metro would cost $3.5 billion, less than half of what it is projecting now.

The increased costs of the metro immediately caused reserved reactions with the national government that warned that if Bogota wants to construct a metro this expensive, other major projects would have to be abandoned.

“If they want to build this metro, remaining initiatives will have to be pushed forward. The nation, due to legal restrictions, can only contribute up to 70% of the construction cost y can not begin subsidizing the metro’s operating cost,” National Planning Department director Simon Gaviria was quoted as saying by El Tiempo newspaper.

Bogota has been talking about a metro since 1947. – Colombia Reports