Intercultural Dialogues
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Ethnic Groups

Intercultural Dialogues

Last updated Nov 25, 2014

Intercultural Dialogues are one the products of an experience undertaken in the Sub-Andean and Amazon Basin, with an influence in eleven South American countries, in the context of the Energy, Environment and Population Program (EAP) endorsed by the World Bank, Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), the Association of Oil & Gas companies in Latin America and the Caribbean (ARPEL), and the Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA).

In Colombia, the first experience was undertaken in the city of Neiva, Huila, from May 26 to 28, 2003. It was called the First Regional Workshop on Constructive Relationships and brought together officials from National and Regional Government, the Oil Industry and representatives of indigenous peoples, resulting in the exchange of information between the three actors, rapprochement and a better perception of the activities undertaken by each of the actors present.

Ecopetrol´s participation in these meetings has resulted in greater understanding and closer ties with the communities and their spokespersons, as well as with the National Government. In turn, indigenous communities have been able to inquire about Government activities in terms of the environment, territories, ethnic groups policy and on hydrocarbon sector activities in the different phases of the industry, among other issues.

Since 2008, the rapprochement and relations process with the leaders of the U´wa people has been ongoing, which started with the projects that the Company has sought to undertake in the region of Sarare, seeking to strengthen ties of friendship and trust. In this regard, meetings and agreements have been successfully taken forward with the aim of developing projects of interest to the community. Similarly, Intercultural Dialogues have been taken forward with the following indigenous communities: Sikuani and Piapoco in Vichada, Pijaos in Tolima, and Nasa, Embera, Pastos, Awá, Ingas, Cofan and Camentsá in the department of Putumayo.

With the realization of Tripartite or Intercultural Dialogues with indigenous and Afro-Descendent populations in its areas of influence, Ecopetrol S.A. seeks to continue strengthening relations with these communities by establishing new dynamics of mutual understanding that make it possible to consolidate spaces for open dialogue, based on better knowledge and understanding of one another, leading to positive outcomes for all parties.

Based the above, it is necessary to undertake an institutional program within the different territorial levels, from the municipalities to the Latin American level, for the long term, including the three actors: Governments, industry and the representatives of ethnic group organizations. This program will be based on the exchange of information and permanent dialogue, in which respect for the legitimate interests of each party will be deemed essential. It should be mentioned that as far as possible, there is support from an international organization (UN, UNDP, ILO and / or an international NGO- GIZ, for example).

To achieve the objective, various work environments are set up: Municipal, departmental, regional and / or Latin American Tripartite Workshops, as well as Seminars and Events on Training and Communication and information exchange. The above spaces will be realized in accordance with business need at the municipal, departmental, regional and national levels.

During 2010 and 2011, Ecopetrol took forward 11 tripartite dialogues, as shown in the table below:

YearNumber of dialoguesCommunityDepartment



NASA Community



U´WA People

Arauca, Boyacá and Casanare


Wayuú Community



Amazonian communities grouped in the OPIAC

Amazonía and Orinoquía



Comunidad Pijao



Cofanes, Pastos, Awa, Nasa, Ingas, Emberas, Sionas, Yana-Conas and Huitotos



Sikuanis and Piapocos



Afro-Descendent Community