As part of its aim of operating in a responsible and sustainable manner, Amerisur commits time and resources to establish and maintain good relationships with local communities and other key stakeholders, aimed at creating shared value within the local area. Amerisur runs a number of initiatives in villages across the Putumayo, focused on improving the quality of life of those living near the Company’s operations.
These initiatives generally fall within three categories:
Community programmes associated with E&P contracts
Social programmes associated with envronmental licenses
Voluntary social investment
These programmes span areas such as education, healthy living, infrastructure and sustainable farming, with the objective of providing locals with opportunities of generating a secure and sustainable income stream. The Company has assisted over 1,500 families in the area of the Platanillo field, through the investment of almost US$1m in several programmes in 2018, most of them in the context of the Colombia peace accords implementation plan.
In 2018, Amerisur’s Corporate Social Responsibility Standard SGE21 Certification was renewed after a comprehensive community relations procedures and practices review was successfully completed.
The Government’s Illegal Crops Substitution programme is focused on transforming Colombia’s fertile land from the production of illegal crops to supporting the growth of legal and sustainable products for both consumption and marketing. One example of this is Amerisur’s Sustainable Livestock Programme. In 2018, 263 families across the communities of Peneya, Sevilla, Alea, Jac Camelias and Sinai II- Baldio, directly benefitted from Amerisur’s support under the Sustainable Livestock Programme, whereby land that was once used to grow illegal crops has been transformed to enable the growth of more sustainable produce, such as rearing cattle, and thus transforming the lives of the families in the area. As cattle raising in rainforest areas requires special care and specific techniques, Amerisur has teamed up with the Putumayo Department (provincial) government in order to provide all necessary technical assistance in order to ensure the programme’s environmental sustainability.
Growing together ('Creciendo Juntos') is an initiative that promotes healthy living and strengthens cultural traditions amongst children, adolescents and adults in the regions through working on cultural and sporting abilities. Amerisur has constructed two sports centres in the vicinity of the Platanillo field and the Putumayo-12 exploration area. The Company has also completed a three year programme in partnership with the National Batuta Foundation for the promotion of music as a tool for boosting the quality of life of local children and youth. The programme currently benefits over 115 children across Puerto Asís and Puerto Caicedo by promoting social inclusion and integration, rights, respect and cultural diversity.
This initiative aims to improve remote local communities’ quality of life through providing them with solar energy to meet their power needs as they don’t have access to the public power network. In 2018, 80 families from the communities of Monte Verde and Puerto Asís benefited from this programme, as solar panels were installed on their land, producing 41.9 KW of electricity, and comprehensive training on their operation and maintenance was provided.
As part of the 'illegal crop substitution programme', Amerisur has assisted the Government with the process to provide local farmers in the Putumayo region with pepper plants and farming skills such that they can make the transition to a more socially desirable and profitable crop. Black pepper is a high demand crop in Colombia and provides a steady income. Alongside this Amerisur has promoted and contributed to two associations, 'Asopimenteros' and 'Asocamelias' that focus on the production of black pepper.