Ecopetrol S.A.´s policy on relations with the Ethnic Groups falls within the framework of corporate values aimed at protecting the environment and the integrity of individuals and communities, in line with universal human rights and specific rights recognized towards Ethnic Groups. Ecopetrol recognizes that people belonging to these ethnic groups and cultures have all the rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. It also acknowledges that these groups, as minorities, have the rights set out in the United Nations Declaration of 1992 on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic minorities.
In recognition and support to existing international treaties and agreements, Ecopetrol recognizes and respects:
- The value of the distinctiveness that identifies ethnic groups, for which it is necessary to respect and promote their human, individual and group rights, as well as their fundamental freedoms and their organizational, economic and social structures.
- The right to the protection and preservation of their customs and social practices.
- The right of ownership and possession over the lands they traditionally occupy, in accordance with the recognition of these that the Government has made in accordance with existing national laws.
- The special importance to the cultures and spiritual values of national Ethnic Groups in respect of their relationship with the lands or territories, or both, as applicable, that they occupy or otherwise use, and in particular the collective aspects of this relationship.
- The right to free, prior and informed consultation, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions. These consultations should be undertaken in good faith and in a manner appropriate to the circumstances, with the aim of reaching an agreement or achieving consent regarding the proposed measures.
- The right to have a share whenever possible, in accordance with that prescribed by national legislation, in the benefits arising from the activities of the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources from their lands.
- The right to receive fair compensation for any damage they may suffer as a result of activities that the Company may advance in their territories.
- The right to decide their own priorities in relation to the development process, in so far as this affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or otherwise use, and to control to the extent possible, their own economic, social and cultural development, in accordance with the legal framework in force in each country.
In virtue of the above, for the undertaking of its projects, operations, the significant expansion of these, or the decommissioning of facilities within the territories belonging to these Groups, Ecopetrol commits to:
Recognize the existence of Ethnic Groups
- Identify and understand Ethnic Groups
- Respect Ethnic Groups
- Give priority to their distinctiveness in its projects and operations
- Respect traditional knowledge and biodiversity
- Assist in initiatives for the promotion of Ethno-development
- The development of intercultural dialogue as a basis for establishing sustainable relations
- The search for agreement as a purpose of relations and prior consultation processes