July 28, 2016

Positive outcome of strengthening of the artisanal fishing program in 14 Media Luna communities

The strengthening of the artisanal fishing program aims to promote alternatives for the sustainability of fish resources and the optimization of fish supplies over time for the Media Luna communities. The main results of the program (from surveying 132 fishermen and Cerrejón representatives) are increased interest in the conservation of fishing resources and the effectiveness of the collective work in monitoring and strengthening artisanal fishing.

The parties involved (200 people participating) met at the Media Luna community thatched hut to discuss the program results since its launch in 2014.

In 2013, Cerrejón commissioned an analysis to identify topics suitable for strengthening artisanal fishing (with the participation of 132 occasional and full-time fishermen from Media Luna), considering it to be part of traditional knowledge contributing to the local economy and comprising an alternative livelihood to improve the standard of living of communities neighbouring our operations in Puerto Bolívar. Based on the assessment results, we dentified areas for improvement in fishing regulations, and the company signed a cooperation agreement with Conservation International to undertake the project “Partnership for Participatory and Sustainable Management of Fishing resources in the Alta Guajira: A Model of Social Responsibility”. A model of social responsibility.

The estimated investment for this project was COP 500 million pesos, and efforts have centred on improving their production means, promoting talks for improving marine safety, and formalizing their activity with the fishing authorities.

Juan Pablo Caldas, manager of Conservation International’s marine program, stated “This project partnering Cerrejón with Conservation International seeks to arrive at a conservation agreement with artisanal fishermen in the Media Luna sector next to Bahía Portete. The project aims to apply one of Conservation International’s goals, which is to work with the community itself to find possible solutions to their current problems.”

This program benefits around 100 families in the 14 participating communities of Pioula, Lechemana, Ko ushimana, Ko´ushimana II, Kamüsüchiwo´u, Pioulekat, Choretchon, Youlerü, Yokuyukutshi, Sarutsira, Jararalu´, Etkimana, Aturuitchon, and Kasushi. A large percentage of these settlements have livelihoods and a subsistence based on the sale and trade of fish and seafood.

The program works on three lines: (1) Assessment of the supply and conditions of fishing resources, (2) agreements for responsible fishing and the creation of the Uribia fishing node, and (3) strengthening of the Colombian Fishermen Observers Program (POPC). The latter has provided an income for eight community members who add to the database of the Colombian Fishing Statistics Service Information System (SEPEC), which is used to promote products on the market, sustainable biodiversity, and the use of new technology meeting the needs and skills of communities.

Luis Marín, a community member and a beneficiary of the agreement, stated, “I like this project because it provides well- being for the community, safety, and food. We hope it just gets better and better”.

At Cerrejón, we are committed to continuing to work together with our partners and communities to develop initiatives allowing us to continue generating value for the progress and development of La Guajira.