Gran Tierra Energy’s operating philosophy, Beyond Compliance, influences the decisions we make regarding how we meet our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. Beyond Compliance means that whenever possible
Gran Tierra voluntarily goes beyond what is legally required to care for the environment and undertake respectful engagement with local communities.

Going Beyond Compliance for the Environment

NaturAmazonas: Gran Tierra’s Largest Environmental Initiative

NaturAmazonas, Colombia’s signature reforestation and conservation project, has made progress on multiple fronts. Since entering into a partnership in 2017 with NGO Conservation International, Gran Tierra has committed to contributing USD$13 million over eight years to this large-scale reforestation and conservation project in the Putumayo.

The NaturAmazonas project is a key component of the Company’s efforts to utilize, to help restore and protect the Andes-Amazon corridor, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. One of the project’s major goals is to reforest 1,000 hectares and to secure and maintain 18,000 hectares of adjoining forests. It is expected that the actions developed by NaturAmazonas will contribute to reducing deforestation in the Amazonian foothills by at least 20%.

A very important factor in NaturAmazonas’ success is in helping people understand how sustainable forest practices can help increase their standards of living. To maximize its benefits for local communities in the Putumayo, the project focuses on four initiatives: Socioeconomic Activities, Sustainable Production, Knowledge Generation and Inter-Agency Coordination.

NaturAmazonas: A New Model for Conservation in Colombia

The NaturAmazonas project addresses the root causes of deforestation and strengthens the mechanisms needed for sustainable reforestation and large-scale conservation. These include:

  • Bringing numerous public and private institutions under an established framework to collaborate and increase their combined impact.
  • Increasing knowledge of, and respect for, the value of forested areas.
  • Implementing mechanisms for people and communities that reside in the area to make a sustainable living in harmony with nature.

As NaturAmazonas continues to mature, the program has begun to serve as an increasingly effective environmental offset, contributing to global climate objectives and supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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Costayaco Forestry Centre: A Reforestation Hub and a Plant and Animal Sanctuary

The Costayaco Forestry Centre (CFC) was established by Gran Tierra in 2010 in coordination with the regional environmental regulator, Corpoamazonia, to produce seedlings for reforestation of nearby forest areas. It is one of the most innovative reforestation efforts in South America, strategically located in an important nature corridor.  The CFC has blossomed into a substantial forested area and grown into a home for species of flora and fauna that are important to the region.

  • Over 250,000 trees have been planted across Putumayo and Cauca Departments.
  • Over 59,000 trees have been donated to local communities and educational centres to date.

While the Centre is a vehicle for fulfilling some of GTE’s compliance requirements to offset both the loss of trees removed for construction of GTE facilities and the use of water in the Company’s operations, the Forestry Centre’s voluntary activities are also an example of the Company’s commitment to go Beyond Compliance.

The Costayaco Forestry Centre spans a total of 314.5 ha and the Centre has grown large enough to become a habitat for animals that would otherwise be in danger. On any given day, hundreds of birds and thousands of butterflies can be seen throughout the area.

The Centre also serves as a vital link to nearby communities. In the past two years, 425 people visited the Costayaco Forestry Centre to learn about GTE as well as the importance of protecting the environment and the reforestation efforts taking place in the area. The Centre is working with local schools to catalyse environmental awareness at an early age.

Based on the CFC’s success, plans to expand the facility and open similar forestry centres near the Company’s operations in the Middle Magdalena Valley and in Putumayo South are underway. The new centres will follow the CFC model, implementing medium and long-term projects, working closely with environmental institutions and local communities.

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In the beginning the community thought we were just another oil company with our own objectives. But they have seen our commitment to the restoration of these areas. You only have to look around now to see the results of all these years of hard work. Along with our other efforts, we are showing that hydrocarbon extraction is possible while being environmentally friendly.

VICTOR LINARES, Director, Costayaco Forestry Centre, GTE

Rigorous Planning to Protect the Environment

Gran Tierra performs rigorous environmental impact assessments of its proposed projects.

An important part of GTE’s approach is being transparent about environmental practices, inviting communities to witness its activities and dispelling myths. The goal is to show communities what the company is doing, rather than just talking about it.

If you are interested in visiting us please contact us at:

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Protecting Colombia and Ecuador’s Water

Gran Tierra believes that the protection of freshwater is an essential part of responsible oil and gas exploration and production. The Company is committed to ensure that its operations do not have an impact on groundwater and aquifers. Independent monitoring and testing has confirmed that Gran Tierra has fully safeguarded groundwater quality throughout its history of drilling operations in Colombia.

In Colombia, GTE will fund additional independent studies of the water if local communities want to hire their own laboratory (as long as it is certified by Colombian regulators). GTE will take its own samples and compare them with the communities’ samples, sharing the results at a community meeting.

If you have any questions about Gran Tierra’s operations near your community, please contact us at: or

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Going Beyond Compliance for Local Communities

Expanding a Centre for Education in San Martín

The Centro de Formación Santiago Navarro had stood abandoned for years until GTE added an extension to it in 2021. The compound features six classrooms that will be used by universities and independent educators to host programs. The facility also features a building to hold events, meetings, and other community gatherings.

As Mayor, I appreciate Gran Tierra’s contributions towards improving the conditions of the community. Whether it’s providing a source of jobs, visible projects like the refurbishment and construction of this centre or donating food to the needy during the pandemic, GTE is trying to really listen to and help the people.


Infrastructure Development in a Rural Community

A new playground installed in 2021 in La Banca, a town of about 500 people, is one of the many projects carried out with the community. Other collaborations include a sewage system, a liquefied propane gas facility, solar panels that power a water well and holding tank system, allowing fresh water all day, as well as improvements to school and health buildings.

My vision for our community is that in the future we will have better roads, more teachers and professionals in our town, and I plan to work hand-in-hand with GTE and the Mayor’s office to accomplish this.

ROLANDO GUERRA, President, JAC La Banca

GTE has always been a good neighbour, treating our requests seriously and never close its doors to us. They have gone far beyond what was expected, and if it wasn’t for their support, we wouldn’t be able to carry out these projects. As a result, the quality of life here has improved a lot.

CAROLINA AGUAS, Former Presidents, JAC La Banca

Works for Taxes: Accelerating Local Infrastructure Investment

Since 2020, over COP $10 billion has been invested through the Works for Taxes program in four locally planned projects that aim to improve mobility, education and housing. This tax program is structured for companies to use their tax contributions to develop and implement projects that improve livelihoods, supports economic development and contribute to the stabilization of the territories. It has become a pivotal mechanism for supporting rural development, especially in territories impacted by the country’s historical conflict and poverty.

Gran Tierra en Mi Comunidad

Gran Tierra en Mi Comunidad (Gran Tierra in My Community) strengthens community ties, by promoting spaces for recreation, community service and cultural exchanges in the areas near Gran Tierra’s operations. The Company works hard to align these efforts with the priorities of local communities and their representatives.

GTE supports community-led activities such as environmental training, traditional games, theatre and music in communities across Putumayo, Cauca, Cesar and Santander departments. These events, attended by more than 4,900 youth and adults, are also part of Colombia’s national “Brujula” program which instills principles of personal, family, and social coexistence. Out of more than three hundred participating municipalities, the program in Rio Negro which is focused on victims of violence and has for years been supported by GTE, was recognized as one of the top 20 in Colombia by Colombian NGO Corporacion Juego y Ninez (Game and Childhood Corporation), for the past two years.


Gran Tierra’s popular entrepreneurship- centred, social investment program has been updated and continues to support individual entrepreneurs in the Middle Magdalena Valley and Putumayo regions. Emprender+, formally named Emprender Paga, is focused on supporting Colombia’s economic development and recovery goals by helping entrepreneurs further develop their businesses.

Originally designed for 100 participants, the program was tripled to 350 after receiving over 1,500 applications in 2021. Free online training sessions were created for the additional participants who were unable to join the full program. 

For more information on Emprender+ visit the program’s website here.

Encouraging and Enabling Local Suppliers

Gran Tierra is committed to ensure that economic benefits flow from our operations to local businesses and communities. GTE’s Fair Bidding Process and other procurement procedures are designed to maximize opportunities for local and regional communities.

GTE’s commitment to local businesses:

  • Execute all contracting processes based on both national laws and international standards.
  • Share the same information with all potential bidders, including strong tender documents and clear and fair rules about the proposal process.
  • Inform each vendor about the results of the bidding process, and bidders can request additional information to help them understand what they need to do to improve their chances in the future.

For more information please click here.