Starting 2 March 2018, an oil spill occurred from Ecopetrol´s Lisama field 158 in the Santander province of Colombia. The leak was reportedly contained one month later. The spill primarily affected La Lizama and Sogamoso river ecosystems. The Sogamoso River is a tributary of the Magdalena River, Colombia’s largest source of water.
According to preliminary estimates from the National Environmental Licencing Authority (ANLA), 2 400 animals died, 1 800 trees were affected and a growing number of people had to relocate from the area and received medical care.
On 3 April, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia requested technical assistance to UN Environment. On 9 April, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) activated the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) following a request for assistance from UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit. The request is for one or two senior environmental experts in oil spill management, to be deployed as part of an UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team to support the Government in responding to this oil-spill emergency.