Climate emergency in Medellín: Quintero prioritized strategies to prevent overflows of the 170 streams on red alert

The District prioritizes investment in disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change. Photo via:

The mayor of Medellin, Daniel Quintero Streetdeclared this November 24 that the city is in a climate emergency, given the latest cases that have been witnessed in the city of eternal spring after heavy rainfall, flooding, mass movements, among other environmental events.

Thus, Quintero commented that in Medellín more than 42,000 homes are at risk of damage due to the obvious effects of climate change. Likewise, at this time more than 170 streams are on red alert and more than 300 in orange alert.

The foregoing, according to the president, constitutes a great emergency in the territory, which has led him to declare a climate emergencywhich will be signed by decree. “This challenge leads us, not only to need actions on the part of the Medellín Mayor’s Office, but strong actions from all the actors that make up the District, society in general, academia, companies, the Government, workers and citizens. ”Quintero added.

It should be noted that This measure integrates infrastructure, mobility, habitat, environment and human development actionswith the aim of sustainability, transformation and rereading of cultural dynamics in the face of risk and climate change.

For her part, the director general of Climate Financing, Knowledge and Associations of the C40, Andrea Fernández congratulated the mayor for this step, since Medellín has joined almost 2,300 local governments around the world that have declared their territory in a state of climate emergency.

The decree represents the seriousness of the commitment that Medellin has acquired in the fight against climate change. The integration of climate change as a fundamental issue in the plans, policies and projects of the mayor’s office is a great advance and is a demonstration of the leadership of the city. We are confident that Medellín will achieve its objectives as a green, clean and resilient eco-cityFernandez added.

This declaration of climate emergency defines eight crucial points by the administration, to prevent and respond to all possible measures to alerts that arise as consequence of the second season of more rains that severely hits several areas of the paisa territory. As analyzed in the forecasts, rainfall will be more intense in the remainder of 2022.

The Medellín administration presented strategies to counteract future environmental impacts. Photo:
The Medellín administration presented strategies to counteract future environmental impacts. Photo:

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The Secretary of the Environment, Vanesa Álvarez, explained that “The community plays a fundamental role in the articulation and execution of each one of these actions and from the institutional level in all our lines of work, from the environmental authorities, from the entities and national and international organizations that are linked to our processes, we can lead different strategies that allow us to accelerate the implementation of our action plan”.

Among the points to work at full speed in the strategy to prevent and address the climate emergency is the Intervention for Climate Change whose purpose, according to the president, covers the implementation of the master plan and the comprehensive transformation of adaptation to climate change.

In addition, at this point the design and implementation of the transitional model of megaprojects is defined for the comprehensive care of the most complex areas, with definitive solutions to the risk conditions presented and analyzed.

A second point of The strategic plan is Ecocity Construction and Transformation, which will have three components: building sustainable infrastructure for climate change; the Medellín Futuro crew, for the intervention and cleaning of the channels of the city’s ravines and the promotion of green works.

As a third item, Quintero presented Ecomunidades, a strategy that includes the formation of community committees to face climate change, community and territorial dialogues for risk prevention and the integration of knowledge with these communities, as well as strengthening the capacities of the territory.

“It includes a census and the crossing of secondary information of families located in areas at risk of flooding or mass movements,” highlighted the Medellín administration.

With this measure, strategies are defined to best deal with emergencies that arise. Photo via:
With this measure, strategies are defined to best deal with emergencies that arise. Photo via:

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The pedagogies from the school environmental projects and the technical media will be carried out based on the ‘Econsciente Academy’ strategy in order to guide disaster risk management with an emphasis on adaptation to change climate and its effects.

Along these same lines, the administration stressed the importance of “interconnected environmental territories” in which an integral system of early warnings and monitoring against climate change and the possible affectation of the torrential rains that could affect the course of the streams in the ecological reserves.

In the case of mobility, Quintero presented Medellín Circular, this being a green alternative which includes the measure of limiting the circulation of new vehicles to fuels fossils in the city from 2035in addition to establishing a new measure of peak and plate for vehicles with more than 20 years of bearing.

The seventh strategic point presented during the afternoon evokes a Climate Governance in which the treaties are embodied international organizations in risk management, disasters and climate change, likewise, as a public agenda of territorial ordering, challenges of the public-private sectors and climate variability.

Finally, the point of ‘Territorial management for climate change’ is a joint effort by the Ministry of the Environment and operational cooperation of the Dagrd. Each of the district dependencies will be assigned a commune or corregimiento and they will be in charge of managing, building, validating and articulating each of the operations prioritized in the central action plan.


Climate emergency in Medellín: Quintero prioritized strategies to prevent overflows of the 170 streams on red alert