Hydraulic adjustment of the Bogotá River
Description of social and environmental performance.
This project presents important benefits for neighbouring regions: firstly, the expansion of the hydraulic section of the river minimises the risk of flooding; secondly, the generation of oxygen processes will improve the dynamics of the river and water quality as well as finally allowing for urban and landscape integration, by means of a landscape project and the restoration of areas of ecological interest such as wetlands and former meanders, and the creation of an environmental corridor alongside the river, where more than 100.000 native trees will be planted.
However, this large investment to restore the river pool is pointless if the community is not aware of how their daily activities directly affect the river and its surroundings. Making the local communities environmentally aware was identified as the key to conserving the river and its corridor. However this in itself was a challenge as they had not received the corresponding environmental education and therefore did not bestow the river the environmental value it deserved.
In order to motivate the local communities into valuing the project and developing a responsible attitude towards the environment, the following measures were taken:
- Environmental campaigns were held with the community and project officials. In particular the campaign “Sembrando agua, recogemos vida” (sowing water we gather life) was aimed at reminding citizens of the importance of preserving river pools and involving the local communities in the conservation projects.
- Environmental workshops were developed with different educational centres in the area. Pamphlets were handed out in different areas informing of the objectives and benefits for the community.
- Support was offered to different organisations interested in hearing about the progress and benefits of the project.
- The Parque San Nicolás (Saint Nicholas Park) was built, thereby creating an environmental leisure area for use by the San Nicolás community.
Through the implementation of measures aimed at increasing environmental awareness, the local young population has gained long lasting awareness of the need to preserve the environment in the river corridor. The integration of communities has meant that they are aware of the importance of looking after the planted trees and not throwing debris or waste into the river.
These measures have a positive effect for the environment, both in the long and short term, as the community establishes a link with their surroundings and collaborates in its protection.