Protecting Colombia’s Archaeological Heritage

As an operator in a country with significant archaeological potential, Gran Tierra implements the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History’s (ICAHN) Archeology program that guides our projects during the early stages of operations. This allows the Company to identify and plan for the specific archaeological characteristics of the areas where the Company wants to build new civil works or infrastructure. In turn, this helps to assure the protection, conservation and recovery of the country’s archaeological heritage.

Gran Tierra’s Environmental Management Plan, the EMP, calls for the following measures to be taken before any operational development begins:

  • Prior to the beginning of excavation in any area that has not been disturbed for the development of well pads or roads, a preliminary assessment of cultural/archaeological values will be conducted by a qualified specialist.
  • If significant sites exist or are suspected, appropriate measures to protect or document these sites and recovery of any artifacts is implemented.
  • In areas of suspected high archaeological value, a local archaeologist will be employed to provide on-site support in identifying chance discoveries and developing an appropriate approach to avoiding or preserving them.

In addition, as a prerequisite to receiving an environmental license, Colombia authorities require developers to prepare a site-specific archaeological management plan.

“We have been fortunate to have a partner like GTE focused on biodiversity and restoration of the Amazon region for years, before others were even having those conversations. Our collaboration around the Suruma Museum has made the history and archeological artifacts of the Amazon region available to the public, and the Company continues to share their knowledge with anyone who wants to listen. Suruma offers a unique experience for farmers, children and other visitors from the area who leave with their minds filled with information.”
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