The Costayaco Forestry Centre

The Costayaco Forestry Centre (CFC) is one of the most innovative reforestation efforts in South America that has grown to 335 hectares, located near the Company’s production facilities in Putumayo. Established in 2010 in coordination with regional environmental regulator Corpoamazonia, the facility has grown into a significant habitat for butterflies, birds, large felines and other wildlife.

The Centre is strategically located in an important environmental corridor connecting the Andean foothills and Amazonian Forest ecosystems, serving as a focal point for the Company’s compensatory requirements as well as many of its voluntary environmental activities. After ten years, the Company is very close to achieving its long-term goal of connecting the corridor to the foothills. The Centre, which was recently officially designated as a protected habitat and has been replicated around the country, also serves as a hub for nearby communities, hosting educational sessions, presentations and briefings.

“As parents, our legacy is protecting the forest so our kids can have good oxygen, diversity of flora and fauna and clean water. It’s incredible what the workers at the CFC have been able to do — now we see a huge amount of trees in what used to be empty lots. The animals have come back and the monkeys go through the trees to cross the road. The CFC helped me plant trees near my home, and people are more aware of the forest here because when they come to take trees to plant, they learn not to cut trees down. For me a place like this is incredible because I’m very concerned about climate change.”
A Source of Seedlings

The Forestry Centre has cultivated hundreds of thousands of seedlings providing local communities the capability to reforest their land with native trees. Residents have begun planting seedlings on their land, which over the years had been degraded by agriculture, animal husbandry, and other industries that damaged the natural habitats and sensitive ecosystems. The Centre is located in close proximity to the Sacha Wasi nursery which has the capacity to produce over one million seedlings each year as part of NaturAmazonas.

Expanding the Forestry Centre Model

Located on 11 hectares in a mountainous region eight kilometres from San Martín and near the Company’s operations in the Middle Magdalena Valley, the Acordionero Forestry Centre will adopt a similar model to the CFC. It will be a focal point for the Company’s required 1% investments and compensation, as well as its voluntary efforts to address regional environmental challenges. The Centre is located between two interconnected, biodiverse forested areas, through which more than 100 bird species have been recorded travelling. While the geography and ecosystems are different from Costayaco, the location will allow the Centre, which is scheduled to open in 2024, to restore and protect a river-based water source for nearby towns.

A Space for Learning

The Forestry Centre functions as a community learning space with programming for both youth and adults. Visitors can learn about GTE’s operations and environmental stewardship activities. The Centre has welcomed government officials, scientists, community members, companies, academic institutions, students and is open to all.

Monitoring the Restoration of Animal Life

The motion sensor camera and monitoring stations at the Costayaco Forestry Centre have successfully identified 121 species of birds, 15 species of amphibians and 11 mammal species. This is a significant increase from the last wildlife monitoring program in 2016, which shows that the Company’s conservation and reforestation efforts are restoring these natural habitats and attracting wildlife back to these regions.

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