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Happy future residents: short-eared owl, feijoa flowers, dendropsophus labialis
Happy future residents: short-eared owl, feijoa flowers, dendropsophus labialis
El Espectador

BOGOTA Authorities in Bogota are banning road and building construction across 14 square kilometers (5.4 square miles) in the Colombian capital, in a bid to create the largest urban nature reserve in Latin America.

New restrictions will turn a sector of the existing Thomas van der Hammen Reserve into a "biodiversity corridor" spanning Guaymaral, Corpas and Suba, three adjacent districts of northern Bogota, a city increasingly marked by high-rise construction and extreme air pollution.

The reserve will protect wetlands and wildlife exclusive to the area, not to mention subterranean waters. The Northern Bogota Regional Forest Reserve plan "envisages ... restrictions on owners in the Reserve, though we also intend to start buying plots, which will allow us to start building and designing a park," Bogota planning chief Gerardo Ardila says.

He says the city will be able to create "an environmental park of great value and one of the biggest parks in Latin America." The municipality has already begun buying nine plots of land here, where it plans to plant two million plants, 300,000 of which are coming from the Bogota Botanical Garden.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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