MITU, Colombia – The names of the more than 8 million victims of Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict will be inscribed on trees in an expanse of the southeastern province of Vaupes to be known as the “Forest of Peace.”
Supported by the Colombian government, the Forest is an initiative of the NGO Saving the Amazon.
The group began planning the project three years ago, Saving the Amazon’s president, Ximena Patino, told EFE.
Reparation for the victims is a key issue for the peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC rebels, which are expected to conclude within weeks with a final agreement.
Indigenous communities, who constitute the majority of the 44,100 inhabitants of Vaupes, will select, plant and cultivate the trees.
Patino stressed that although Vaupes, unlike other regions of Colombia, “has not been destroyed” by deforestation, a lot of trees have been lost meeting the population’s needs for subsistence.
Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said the Forest of Peace model will be replicated in other regions of Colombia, especially those directly affected by the armed conflict.