In this SDG Awards 2017 entry:
Voting Category: Large Organization
Frontera Energy is committed to help achieve the following SDGs:
- SDG 2: Zero Hunger (Goals 2.1 and 2.2)
- SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being (Goal 3.8)
- SDG 4: Quality Education (Goal 4.5)
- SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation (Goals 6.3 and 6.4)
- SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12.2)
- SDG 15: Life on Land (Goal 15.2)
In Latin America, there are approximately 520 indigenous communities, with 83 communities (1,392,623 inhabitants) located in Colombia, placing it second after Brazil as having the largest number of indigenous communities. Given these figures and the areas of direct influence in which Frontera Energy operates, the engagement with these communities is a priority for our company, in which beyond legal compliance, we are committed to develop initiatives to promote their well-being, improve their quality of life, and strengthen their organizational capacities, so they can overcome the historical repression in which they have been immersed. Frontera is actively participating in the development processes of the country.
Regarding this commitment, since 2009 we have been working with the indigenous communities close to our operations, and developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy that aims to respond to the necessities of these communities, and to promote their empowerment and social inclusion.
Our strategy has been structured as follows:
1. Food Sovereignty
2. Access to clean water
3. Institutional Capacities with a Differential Approach
4. Access to education
5. Promotion and prevention of diseases
In 2009, we developed a diagnosis of the situation of indigenous communities in Puerto Gaitan, Meta, identifying high levels of malnutrition and morbidity, especially in children of 0 to 5 years old. In order to promote the decrease of these indicators and improve the welfare of these communities, we have developed and implemented a short, medium and long term strategy.
For the short term, we have implemented a project of nutritional package provisions for families, created with nutritional experts, with the goal of improving nutrition levels and ensuring correct cognitive and motor development of children in these communities. During 2016 we delivered 2,632 packages to 35 communities identified as priority.
For the medium and long term, we have designed and implemented a project named “Let’s Sow Again”. Its objective is to establish small crops in Savanna with an ancestral approach, in an effort to mitigate the deforestation of Morichales and promote sustainable planting and self-consumption products. Also, we support the mechanization of lands and provide agricultural contributions, with the aim of diversification of incomes for families. These complementary initiatives were implemented with the purpose of securing true food independence for these families.
Access to clean water
In the areas where we operate, there are 23 communities with only 5 having acceptable conditions to access clean water. Through our interventions, we have identified high levels of intestinal diseases caused by the consumption of contaminated water. The low access to clean water is evident in the health quality of the children in these communities, suffering from bacteria, parasites and severe dehydration resulting in their death.
Regarding this situation, we have created and implemented a project of water purification through filters that are capable of absorbing substances suspended in the water, such as chlorine in water tanks. At 12 educational sites in the communities, we have installed tanks with gutters in the ceilings and collection tanks with specific treatment to purify the water collected. The project also included the assessment of water samples in a certified laboratory to evaluate the quality of the water and promote its use among the communities.
Institutional Capacities with a Differential Approach
With the aim of promoting the independence of indigenous communities, we have identified that the strengthening of their organizational capacities is fundamental for the development, promotion, and respect of their rights. We have developed a training program to strengthen their abilities regarding the creation and implementation of projects that assess their national economic resources (royalties).
Access to education
We have implemented the development of institutional educational plans and the improvement of educational infrastructure, with a differential approach, and an alliance with municipal and regional institutions.
Promotion and prevention of diseases
We have implemented Medical Brigades for more than 5,200 indigenous people, guaranteeing their access to vaccinations, medical evaluations, and priority attention of critical cases.
- We are committed to improve the nutritional levels and the quality of life of the indigenous communities near our operations, especially those of young children. Our goal is to develop and implement innovative solutions that can add value to the efforts already implemented. These solutions will be created alongside national and regional authorities.
- We will continue engaging with the indigenous communities in our operations in order to continuously identify their needs and implement initiatives that respect and promote their ancestral practices.
At Frontera, we strongly believe in public-private partnerships, as this is the best way to guarantee our efforts are in line with governmental initiatives, and to increase the impact and sustainability of our investments. We are constantly looking for strategic partners interested in investing in various projects in the areas where we operate.