In the Great Companies category, we won the first place on the sixth edition of the Premio Caracol Televisión a la Protección del Medio Ambiente (Prize for environmental protection awarded by Caracol Televisión) recognizing those projects that work for the responsible care tala indiscriminada de and use of rivers and seas in Colombia, since rivers in our country are disappearing due to indiscriminate logging and human activity.
This recognition highlighted our Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) for the Guarinó River basin launched in 2008 as a dialogue, agreement and management strategy for the recovery of the basin’s ecosystem. The implementation of the plan has been carried out in partnership with Corpocaldas and Cortolima, as well as other entities and organizations, among which the Development Program for Peace in Central Magdalena and the basin’s communities stand out. The plan involves projects aimed at resolving issues related to water, healthcare, quality of life; productive systems with emphasis in agroecology; and community strengthening processes, which has yielded very positive environmental and social results.
At present, we have begun a reforestation process of more than 260 hectares; 54 additional hectares have been reforested with native species that contribute to oxygen production, air purification, fertile soils, preventing erosion and are used by wildlife as shelters. Additionally, we developed 14 bioengineering projects which are key to mitigate erosive processes and sedimentation of the Guarinó River main tributaries.
Furthermore, we powered 12 community biofactories that help reduce the use of agrochemicals, apply agricultural good practices and stop the discharge of polluting chemicals into water sources; we built 628 energy-saving stoves that have served to reduce logging and help make the cooking process more efficient; and we contributed to the basic sanitation of 375 lots, in order to relocate wastewater discharge to the supplying micro-basins.
At least 777 families from 73 districts have benefitted through CAP, improving their dialogue, agreement and territorial management practices among the different communities in the region, thus achieving greater unity, participation and awareness raising of their environmental duties and rights, care and protection of natural resources, supported by 180 community leaders which were trained in the Escuela de Liderazgo Ambiental (School of Environmental Leadership).
This initiative has reached its 10th anniversary and excellent results have been achieved thanks to the collective work performed by the communities, the Regional Autonomous Corporations and ISAGEN.