Colombia's Mines and Energy Ministry said it would appeal the decision by a tribunal in Cundinamarca province ordering the government to suspend granting mining licenses until it establishes protected areas, Reuters reported Dec. 14.
The decision came as a response to a 2013 lawsuit by leftist Senator Ivan Cepeda, with the rationale that all Colombians have a right to a healthy environment.
The ruling said the environment ministry has three years to use scientific studies to define "ecologically delicate areas" such as wetlands and national parks.
The tribunal's decision will not be final until the council of state resolves the appeal. Meanwhile, licensing will continue to function.