Page 23 - Corporate Responsibility Report 2018
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The Andes – Amazonia corridor is a strategic zone in the Putumayo Department that hosts the greatest diversity of ecosystems in the Colombian Amazon.
This biological diversity of fauna and flora is complemented by great cultural richness represented by the presence of 13 Indigenous communities and Afro-descendants. As the largest oil and gas operator in the Putumayo, Gran Tierra is committed to protecting the area’s biodiversity and has adopted a strategy to coordinate its efforts with other organizations to maximize their regional impact. In 2018 this strategy led GTE to enter into partnerships or
alliances with two organizations with similar goals.
A Partnership with the Humboldt Institute
Gran Tierra partnered with the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute on a project that is contributing to the understanding of biodiversity in the Putumayo and address concerns about industrial development in the area. Colombia has highly biodiverse areas, with large numbers of plant species, microorganisms, and fungi. However, some of the country’s ecosystems have deteriorated tremendously due to agriculture and livestock activities, urban expansion, illegal mining and illegal land practices.
The Humboldt Institute is an independent non-regulatory research institute of the Executive Branch of the Government of Colombia. It is charged with conducting scientific research on the biodiversity of the country, including hydrobiology and genetic research. The Institute often provides the national environmental agency, ANLA, with unbiased research and information to inform their policymaking.
The joint GTE-Humboldt Institute Chawara Project is a regional environmental assessment which will create a technical tool to track and monitor biodiversity changes in the Putumayo, especially in the Andean foothills. The project is part of GTE’s efforts to help the country proactively develop an understanding of species that need to be protected, and it will allow the company to better consider environmental issues when determining how and where to plan development. The effort has already identified a number of projects that are being implemented in the area by other companies. Humboldt hopes the assessment will lead to other companies and industries designing development that creates less
impact and requires less environmental mitigation compensation. This work will allow GTE to contribute, as appropriate, to these activities to better protect biodiversity in the areas. Being more strategic environmentally will have long-term social and environmental benefits through the life of the project – important for Gran Tierra, which plans to engage in the development of oil in the region for years to come.
“The Chawara Project is an example of an oil company trying to have a real conversation with the environmental sector and big picture thinking about transitioning towards sustainability.” – Francisco José Gómez Montes, Deputy Director, Scientific Services and Special Projects, Humboldt Institute
Environmental Stewardship 21
  Francisco José Gómez Montes Deputy Director, Scientific Services and Special Projects, Humboldt Institute

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