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    Colombia Imposes Take-Back for Expired Medicines

    Monday, March 2nd, 2009

    Two years ago Environment Minister got the attention of industry when he published for public comment two draft decrees imposing extended producer responsibility (EPR) for end-of-life batteries and medicines.
    Now, after nearly two years of discussions between the Environment Ministry (MAVDT) and industry groups representing the pharmaceutical sector in Colombia — namely the Colombian Pharmaceutical Industry […]

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    Colombia: Mining, Yes, But Not in National Parks

    Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

    “Mining in Colombia, yes, but not in national parks,” insists Colombia’s Environment Minister Juan Lozano Ramírez. “Mining in Colombia, yes, but environmentally responsible. Mining in Colombia, yes, but not that they rob everything of value and leave us with deserts and zones of erosion.”
    He announced a total prohibition on all granting of mining licenses in […]

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    A Cempre for Colombia

    Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

    When I started research on the first edition of my book on waste and recycling policy in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) back in 1997, one of the first places I turned for information was Brazil’s Business Commitment to Recycling (Compromisso Empresarial para Reciclagem – Cempre).  It was still located in Rio de Janeiro […]

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    Colombia Sets Zero Tariffs on Electric Cars, Studies Doing Same for Other “Clean” Vehicles

    Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

    Last month I posted about Colombia’s decision to import (and promote) the Reva electric car.  Now comes word that the Triple A Committee on Customs, Tariff and Trade Affairs has approved a zero import tariff for the first 100 of the cars.  Ten will be imported in December, the other 90 in the first half […]

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    Update: Colombian Eco-Authorities Now Have Sharp Teeth?

    Friday, August 8th, 2008

    Last year I did a post about Colombia’s Environment Minister, Juan Lozano Ramírez, calling upon that country’s Senate to finally give environmental authorities “teeth” — a true, tough environmental sanctions regime. Proposals for such a law had been before the national legislature for years (Lozano says it’s been decades).
    A few weeks ago the […]

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    Colombian Palm Oil Industry Opts for Path to Certified Sustainable

    Thursday, July 17th, 2008

    Last week the group representing Colombia’s palm oil business, the National Federation of Palm Oil Growers (Federación Nacional de Cultivadores de Palma de Aceite – Fedepalma), announced their adherence to the Principles and Criteria of the Zurich-based Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
    The RSPO arose from a concept first proposed by WWF in 2001. […]

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    Colombia’s First Eco-Certified Hotel

    Sunday, July 13th, 2008

    Synopsis in English: Colombia’s Environment Ministry (MAVDT) has officially delivered to Hotel Puerta del Sol in Barranquilla the first Environmental Seal ever awarded to a hotel. The Environmental Seal is Colombia’s official ecolabel, created by decree in 2005. So far award criteria have been concluded for only two categories: lodging and cleaning products.
    For […]

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    Mandatory Independent Monitoring of Ecopetrol’s Discharges

    Friday, September 21st, 2007

    Synopsis in English: Colombia's Environment Ministry (MAVDT) recently announced that the nation's public energy firm, Ecopetrol, will have its all its discharges into the Orotoy and Guamal Rivers permanently monitored and verified by an independent specialist company to check that they comply fully with environmental norms.  Audits will be published periodically. 
    Ecopetrol has also been […]

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    Lozano: Environment Institutions Need to be Accountable

    Thursday, September 20th, 2007

    Synopsis in English: Last month Colombia's Environment Minister, Juan Lozano Ramírez, signed a Standard Internal Control Model (MECI) agreement between his Ministry (MAVDT) and the Comptroller General to signal his intention to have the Ministry utilize internal controls and audits to ensure proper handling of the resources under its purview. 
    He took the occasion to […]

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    All Public Entities in Colombia Must Switch to Efficient Lighting by 2008

    Thursday, August 9th, 2007

    Synopsis in English: Environment Minister Juan Lozano Ramírez announced yesterday that all public sector entities in Colombia must switch their lighting to efficient, energy-saving bulbs by 31 December. Public housing, which also falls under Lozano’s mandate, will also switch to energy-saving bulbs, but with a longer transition time (two more years). Lozano billed […]

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