We want to be the preferred neighbor and partner by creating a mutually beneficial exchange with the local communities where we work.
We promote spaces for dialogue with our communities, authorities and other stakeholders, giving them precise and timely information about our activities and the characteristics of our projects.
Our commitment to Good Neighborliness starts with the identification and early analysis of the different social environment risks and their qualitative and quantitative evaluation. We define early social environment management plans and perform due diligence, allowing us to mitigate the impacts on nature and communities, and to ensure the successful and responsible development of our operations.
GeoPark uses the Cuéntame program to listen to our neighbors and create a structure to give timely and effective attention to the worries, concerns and requests they may have, resolving and managing issues to ensure direct and permanent relationships with our social environment.
Best social practices in the energy industry
For two consecutive years GeoPark has won awards from the Government of Colombia for ‘Significant experiences in the implementation of good environmental and social practices in the mining and energy sector.’
In 2018, GeoPark's social relations program was chosen among 107 initiatives as the best conflict prevention model. The program won again in 2019 for its results in the prevention and management of social conflict, as well as its outstanding labor management for the benefit of neighboring communities and Company contractors.
We put all our effort and energy into creating value for our neighbors and delivering on our commitment to being Good Neighbors. Our work shows that our company can grow in harmony with the social and environmental development of the territories we operate in. This is illustrated by regional development partnerships that we have developed with organizations including regional development bank FINDETER, Colombia’s Family Welfare Institute, the Minuto de Dios Corporation and the Batuta Foundation.
In our contribution to improving the quality of life in communities in territories we operate in, our youngest neighbors matter. We have outlined a goal of strengthening safe spaces for children in these communities so that they can effectively enjoy their fundamental rights.
We believe that education is one of the pillars of sustainable development, and because of this we have led projects to donate study kits to our neighboring communities; support music teaching to children in Putumayo together with the Batuta Foundation; provide equipment to all school canteens in Puerto Guzman in partnership with the Putumayo Government and the Ministry of Education; and strengthen the STEM skills of Casanare students with the installation of LEGO classrooms for all the community to use. As well as creating continuous education and recreational opportunities, the projects promote fundamental values of peaceful society such as respect, solidarity and teamwork.
Supporting the education of preschool children in Putumayo is one of our main goals. To achieve this, we made an agreement with the Colombian Family Welfare Institute to provide equipment to 39 Child Development Centers that serve more than 3,500 children up to five years old in the Department. This project will be possible thanks to the Works for Taxes mechanism that aims to improve living conditions and stimulate the economy in different regions of the country.
We accept the challenge of leaving a legacy of prosperity to the communities that host us, under a model of sustainable development and in accordance with regions’ productive, social and cultural dynamics. In support of this, we started a process with regional development bank Findeter to promote the socioeconomic transformation of the territories that make up the area of influence of the Llanos 34 block in Tauramena and Villanueva, Casanare. The initiative will classify the economic strengths of the area and identify opportunities to partner with public and private entities to develop productive projects.
Our actions also aim to create value for our neighbors, through access to quality housing that satisfies their basic human and family needs. GeoPark partners with the Minuto de Dios Corporation in developing a housing program to improve the living conditions of our neighbors in Casanare and Putumayo, through which we make significant efforts to guarantee that homes have ideal conditions and comply with all criteria of structural design, living space and space distribution, basic sanitation, aesthetics and security.
Through our commitment to our neighbors’ health and well-being, we support the medical-surgical brigades of the Colombian Civil Air Patrol (PAC) in different municipalities of our area of influence. The brigades provide communities with free of charge appointments in pediatrics, dermatology, optometry, ophthalmology, ultrasound, surgery and family planning, as well as general surgical procedures.
We recognize the great value of the knowledge and experience of the people who are part of the GeoPark team, and we encourage the exchange of that knowledge among our employees and with our neighbors and other stakeholders. At GeoPark, we create academic opportunities through to promote collective learning, based on a sustainable relationship with our communities of training and mutual benefit.
In 2020, to realize this goal we made different partnerships with institutions and educational centers that build on and add to our spirit of promoting the exchange and management of knowledge. In Argentina’s Neuquen province we held a series of training sessions for students, teachers and education sector authorities with the support of the Neuquen Province Ministry of Education, and we also signed an agreement with the ADENEU PYME Center to develop a knowledge transfer cycle from GeoPark employees to suppliers and other companies in the region.
For more detail on the projects and results related to our commitment to communities, see our SPEED/ESG Report 2020 here.