On August 7, 2010, Juan Manuel Santos took office as President of Colombia. The same day, before the official ceremony, he traveled to Santa Marta’s Sierra Nevada. At the ceremonial center, the leaders of the indigenous peoples of the Sierra (the mamos) told him: “Find peace and seek reconciliation with the environment and with Mother Nature because it is going out of control. And that is because of the way it has been mistreated”.
During the eight years of his administration, there was a permanent commitment with the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change. The number of hectares of protected areas tripled, going from less than 14 million to 43 million, an area larger than Germany or Japan. All the páramos, which are actual water factories, were demarcated. Colombia was at the forefront of the negotiation and defense of the Paris Agreement and, during the Rio + 20 Summit, was also the main promoter of the Sustainable Development Goals initiative, which was later adopted by the United Nations.
As a former president, he continues to support national and international efforts to face the biggest threat that humanity has had in its history: climate change.