Colombia’s Conservative Party proposed a constitutional amendment to limit land purchases made by foreigners to avoid “land grabbing,” reported local media Thursday.

The legislative act was initiated by Senator Hernan Andrade to limit the amount of Colombian private property available for foreign purchase to 15% of the country’s total territory. Andrade said the served to preserve the country’s natural resources and keep foreign investors from “grabbing” all of its land.

Foreign Direct Investment has grown more than 500% in Colombia since 2001, a lot of which was caused by the rapidly expanding oil and mining industries in the country.

The reform states that the sum of foreign individuals, legal entities receiving foreign capital, or those acting on their behalf, can only purchase up to 15% of the country’s total land, including land that has already been acquired previously. In addition to the reform, no foreign property will be owned within approximately 165,000 feet of any of the country’s borders, including all mines, forests, water, fuel or energy sources.

Andrade said that he initiated the project to protect the country’s land as a natural resource and food source, because both Colombia’s land and water alike are in a vulnerable position.

The exceptions to the reform include those with a Colombian spouse or those that are descendents of Colombians.

Similar projects are already in effect in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.

From Colombia Reports