Drummond Signs Agreement with Colombian Government for Compensation Plans in Cesar that will Benefit 230 Families

Bogotá, April 23, 2018

In the framework of Earth Day, President Juan Manuel Santos and Drummond Ltd. signed an agreement for Forest Compensation Plans oriented toward ecological restoration, rehabilitation, and recovery of the San Antonio and Las Animas Creek watershed areas in the Serranía del Perijá.

The initiative promotes comprehensive water management and conservation of biodiversity for the sustainable development of the beneficiary communities, in addition to environmental education.  It will also seek the inclusion of human population groups in the projects, contributing to improving their living conditions, in coherence with the government strategies called “Forest of Peace” and “Payment for Environmental Services.

The operation to be undertaken by Drummond plans to recover and restore – in its initial phase – around 2,700 hectares that became deteriorated in the past, mainly by illicit crops. It will also implement close to 500 hectares of agroforestry productive projects for the sustainable development of more than 230 families in 14 rural districts in the two municipalities.

With an investment of 57 billion pesos (US$20 million), this initiative is expected to have an impact on the recovery and restoration of around 5,600 hectares, involving approximately 500 families.

“This is a 15-year project for efficient and responsible management of water and the conservation of biodiversity, to spur on what we have wanted to motivate across the country, which is sustainable development. How good that Drummond, which has set an example of environmental and social responsibility, is such an important company in our development, and has been present in Colombia for such a long time, is now a pioneer in this type of agreement,” stated President Santos during the ceremony to launch the project.

The agreement was also signed by the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, the National Authority for Environmental Licenses (ANLA), and the Autonomous Regional Corporation of Cesar (CORPOCESAR), which is participating as a guarantor and to provide oversight.

The conservation agreements entered into by signing the project are based on the “Payment for Environmental Services” strategy. Under this strategy, rural inhabitants, as environmental protectors, make a commitment to protect part of their properties, either conserving them or implementing restoration measures. In exchange, they obtain improvements to their home and its living conditions, in addition to the implementation of a sustainable productive project (agroforestry, silvopastoral project, or beekeeping).

Moreover, the scope of the improvements to social infrastructure covers the construction of tertiary roads, health posts, educational infrastructure, and social work for strengthening rural inhabitants and developing social cohesiveness.

These Forest Compensation Plans are the best bet in terms of environmental investment in these municipalities in benefit of rural communities affected by the internal conflict, thus contributing to lasting peace in the region.