Prior Consultation with Indigenous Groups

Colombia’s Constitution grants Indigenous groups the right to “Free Prior Informed Consultation” or Prior Consultation (PC) before any project is considered near Indigenous land. These communities can be found throughout the country, and there are a number of Indigenous groups and several Afro-Colombian groups in the Putumayo near Gran Tierra’s operations. With its increased exploration and development activities in the Putumayo, many of which interact with these protected communities, GTE has created a department focused solely on the Prior Consultation process.

PC represents a formal process for establishing dialogue between ethnic communities and the Company to ensure they are adequately informed and consulted about company activities; how these activities might interact with and/or impact them; and how any impacts will be mitigated, compensated or prevented. GTE, like other companies in Colombia that participate in the PC process, works with Colombia’s Ministry of the Interior, which follows the formal process and ensures that someone from the ministry or local government are present during each community interaction.

The Company has several programs designed to support the Indigenous and Afro-descendant population through socio-cultural, social infrastructure and development projects. The Company has also built four ancestral cultural centres for community meetings and activities in order to strengthen the traditions of the Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities of Orconepul, Alto Orito, Afro Council of Puerto Limón and Martin Luther King.

“The Prior Consultation process is important to us because of our concerns about preserving our way of life and protecting our sacred areas and spirits. We’re grateful for all the effort the company has put in place to protect the community.”

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