April 12, 2016

Cerrejón reclaims lands as an environmental partner at the Mine and Puerto Bolívar

Over 25 years ago, we voluntarily and responsibly started our Land Reclamation Program even before this practice was a legal requirement in Colombia. To date, we have rehabilitated more than 3,550 hectares that were disturbed and then released by the mining operation.
 As part of our commitment to the environment, since the start of our operations we have reclaimed 99% of the areas that will no longer be used by the operations.
 Timely conservation of more than 43 million cubic metres of topsoil.
 Replanting of over 1,540,000 trees of 40 native species.
 The return of birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and certain species of wildlife that were thought to be extinct in
this region.

At Puerto Bolívar, Cerrejón’s ship-loading port, part of our investment in the conservation of natural resources lies in the rehabilitation of the subtropical desert scrubland (md-ST) since 2015 (through our Environmental Management Department and the Cerrejón Foundation Indigenous Guajira).

“This project aims to prove a rigorous experiment where, despite the climate, we have managed to reclaim inland port areas based on recovering traditional planting practices. Combined with the knowledge of the Foundation at the Farm and the land reclamation program, we have achieved sustainable results,” states Daiver Pinto, analyst at the Cerrejón Foundation Indigenous Guajira.
The project comprises four operational components: the recognition of native species, forming plots, managing plant nurseries, planting, watering, and maintenance. The agreement participants have designed and built a series of diamond-shaped structures (symbols of Wayuu handicrafts) with material (wood and canvas) recovered from the Puerto Bolívar facilities. In combination with natural supplies (goat manure, reused water, mulch, and seed from the nearby forests), these structures have activated the natural regeneration of the arid, coastal soils of the Media Luna sector.

At total of 24 diamond shapes were built and planted with over 500 seedlings of native species (mesquite, Capparis linearis (Jacq.), Pereskia guamacho, and divi-divi) and forage species (leadtree, moringa, and grasses) from the tropical dry forest on its way to extinction in La Guajira.

“I think this project is very important because it inspires us, as a Wayuu ethnic group, to recognize the value of our own culture and to duplicate good environmental practices in our communities by such actions as seeding plants and properly classifying our waste, which will allow us to live in a healthier, more ecological environment,” states Karen López, a project technician in Environmental Management and a member of the community of Satsapa.

Since the start of our operations, Cerrejón has been a partner for environmental protection, promoting conservationist practices in our efforts to reclaim land disturbed by mining, thus maintaining the dynamics, structure, and ecosystem functions to contribute to sustainable lands.