In July 2019, we teamed up with Financiera de Desarrollo Territorial, a Colombian state development bank known as Findeter, to launch a project for the socioeconomic transformation of the municipalities within the area of influence of the Llanos 34, Tauramena and Villanueva oil blocks. The first step involves doing a profile and diagnosis of the municipalities to determine what work is done in the region and its economic opportunities. In the next step, Findeter will work with GeoPark and the communities to prioritize the sectors and identify the economic activities that can be carried out in these municipalities as well as any partnerships that can be made with private and public sector entities to participate in the initiatives.
With the information from these initial phases, Findeter will design the strategy for implementing the selected projects and determine a model of sustainability for the authorities and communities so that they can take ownership of the initiatives. This will help to encourage participation, provide validation and spur social mobilization around the implementation of the projects.
The strategy is part of Findeter’s initiative called Territorio de Oportunidades, or Region of Opportunities, which aims to transform regions where companies like GeoPark have a presence through projects that can generate income and jobs for the communities.
GeoPark has an agreement with the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Conservation and Sustainability (CCS) to develop a Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Morona Project. The objective of the Morona BMAP, as it is known, is to evaluate and recommend how to avoid, minimize and restore any potential impacts of industrial development on the wildlife in the project’s area of influence.
The results of the program will provide impartial, independent and transparent information on the biodiversity of the area, enabling GeoPark to adhere to international best practices and adapt its management actions during the construction and operation of the project. It will also be able to restore habitats after impact has occurred. In all instances of the process, the findings are shared with the communities in the project’s area of influence.
As part of the Amazon Promotion of Best Social and Environmental Management Practices project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), GeoPark and AECOM International Development signed an agreement to promote, adopt and replicate the best practices that reduce environmental and social impacts in the area of influence of the Morona Project. This initiative will provide GeoPark with a qualified and independent observer to promote and communicate its current programs as well as to implement new initiatives in line with international sustainability standards. All of this will be done in collaboration of the communities in the project’s area of influence.
The USAID Amazon Promotion of Best Social and Environmental Management Practices project has the goal of reducing the negative impacts of large-scale infrastructure projects, extractive activities and climate change on forests and water resources, as well as of promoting better environmental and social practices that safeguard natural resources and indigenous cultures and rights in the Amazon region.