Actualización del Manual de Compensaciones para el componente biótico
Recientemente, el Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible (MADS) adoptó la actualización del Manual de Compensaciones del Componente Biótico mediante la Resolución 256 del 22 de febrero de 2018 (ver Resolución aquí). La nueva versión amplia su ámbito de aplicación no solo a los proyectos que requieran compensación por pérdida de biodiversidad, sino también a los permisos de aprovechamiento forestal único y a la sustracción temporal o definitiva de reservas forestales nacionales o regionales, que involucren al MADS, la ANLA, las CAR, los Grandes Centros Urbanos y otros establecimientos públicos ambientales (Ver Manual aquí). Dentro de las posibilidades para ejecutar las acciones de compensación -preservación, restauración y uso sostenible-, el Manual establece como opción la implementación de los Bancos de Hábitat (regulados bajo la Resolución 1051 de 2017).
De acuerdo con las nuevas oportunidades para el desarrollo de las compensaciones ambientales que se señalan en la actualización del Manual, Terrasos se destaca como líder en la aplicación de esquemas agregados de compensación, particularmente en el mecanismo de Banco de Hábitat y en la firma de acuerdos privados de conservación. En este sentido, actualmente nos encontramos asesorando a importantes empresas de varios sectores (energía, infraestructura e hidrocarburos), ofreciendo alternativas para cumplir con sus obligaciones ambientales al reducir los costos transaccionales relacionados con la búsqueda de predios o de áreas para implementar las medidas de compensación, y en las negociaciones con dueños de predios, entre otros aspectos. Prontamente esperamos hacer el lanzamiento de algunos proyectos de bancos de hábitat que permitan dirigir recursos de compensaciones ambientales para la protección y restauración de ecosistemas altamente vulnerables como por ejemplo el Bosque Seco Tropical -BST.
Analysis of alternatives for forced investment plans of not less than 1%:
Terrasos developed two plans of forced investment of not less than 1% for a linear project that crosses several hydrographic zones of the country. For the elaboration of these plans, Terrasos used a methodology in which more than 50 investment alternatives were analyzed, under a series of technical, financial, legal-institutional and strategic criteria, in order to generate greater benefits and environmental and social returns. This work also required a technical and legal analysis of the administrative acts related to each of the environmental licenses, as well as the pronouncements made by the environmental authorities.
Through the application of the methodology it was possible to define the geographical scope of application of the investment, in such a way that the zones and sub-hydrographic zones in which the projects could be carried out were identified. In this way, the alternatives that would allow the investment to materialize were identified, with special emphasis on those that will provide the greatest environmental, economic and / or social benefits.
Once this was done, the different project options that the company could carry out were presented, in accordance with the proposed investment alternatives in the identified geographical areas. Finally, the investment plans were drawn up, considering the projects selected by the company, and presented to the environmental authority.
Structuring of aggregate offsets:
Terrasos reviewed the environmental requirements of one of the most important mining companies in the country, to propose a model of aggregate offset, with which several requirements were consolidated under a single project and a single management plan. For this, an Integral Offset Plan was prepared, which was presented to the environmental authority as a proposal for compliance with the requirements associated with its intervention. For this, an analysis, study and selection of areas for application of the compensation model was made, according to the offset requirements and the criteria defined by the company and by the competent environmental authority.
To select the place where the offset would be made, the technical, financial and legal structuring of a proposal for an ecological reserve model was made, and work was also done to strengthen the environmental offset strategy through a proposal of ecological units. Under this project, Terrasos could apply key methodologies such as the "Legal Minimum of Sustainability of Environmental Offset" in order to ensure the necessary legal conditions in the implementation of offsets.
Ecosystem-based adaptation Program for the city of Cartagena:
The German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) has been carrying out the Ecosystems-based Adaptation Program (EbA Program by its acronym). This program seeks to implement strategies for the management, conservation and restoration of ecosystems to ensure that they continue to provide services that allow people to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Likewise, it aims to provide technical assistance to integrate the EbA approach into the relevant policies, plans or strategies, as well as to put it into practice and thereby contribute to reducing the vulnerability of local communities in coastal regions.
For the implementation of the EbA Program, having as a pilot project the city of Cartagena, it was established the need to design a financial instrument to achieve the sustainability and permanence of the measures that will be developed. The design of this instrument was led by Terrasos with the support of Optim Consult. Through this work, Terrasos aimed to ensure that these measures have sufficient resources for their application and, in the same way, that they can be maintained in the medium and long term. To design a financial instrument with these characteristics, Terrasos made an analysis of the context for its application, the objectives to be raised, the actors involved, as well as the references and good practices that have been advanced at national and international level in this regard.
Formulation of the Biodiversity Action Plan for the mining-energy sector
The Office of Environmental and Social Affairs of the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the UNDP Environment and Energy Program have been implementing the Project "Support for the implementation of the Environmental Management Strategy of the Colombian Energy Mining Sector" with the objective of strengthening the institutional capacities for the incorporation of the environmental perspective in the planning and decision making of the mining-energy sector, within the framework of green growth and sector competitiveness. As part of this project, the formulation of an Action Plan (Pasbiome) was proposed, whose structuring was led by Terrasos.
At present, the gaps, weaknesses and needs of the mining and energy sector regarding the management of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and their action in the territory are evident. There are structural problems of information management, institutional capacity, intersectoral articulation and local action that impede an adequate environmental management that contributes to prevent conflicts in the territories and to improve welfare conditions in the regions. Hence the call for a sustainable use of the resources managed by the sector, considering their competencies as a productive sector, without neglecting what is proposed by the Ministry of Environment and other sectors involved in the sustainable management of the territories.
Structure of the first Habitat Bank in Latin America:
Terrasos developed the first Habitat Bank in Latin America in the Orinoquia region. The Habitat Banks are lands where actions of preservation, improvement or restoration of ecosystems are implemented to compensate for the inevitable losses in biodiversity, the result of the development of large-scale projects. The management of these lands is carried out by conservation, restoration and management specialists, who facilitate the generation of quantifiable biodiversity gains that can be used by companies to compensate for the impacts caused. To ensure the transparency and traceability of these schemes, there is an accounting system and a monitoring system that covers environmental, socio-economic and financial aspects, which allow measuring the impact caused by projects from a sustainable development perspective.
Terrasos has important international strategic partners for the development of offset projects. Among these are: i) Advanced Ecology (AEL) whose main activity is the development and generation of offset solutions for the inevitable impacts through the development of wetland mitigation / conservation banks or individual offset strategies. AEL has created and / or participated in 19 mitigation / conservation banks in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Alaska.
Development of the strategic vision of the Colombian Environmental Information System (SIAC) for 10 years:
In 2014 Terrasos, together with the consulting firm Proyecto Ítaca, participated in the development of the strategic vision of the Colombian Environmental Information System (SIAC) for 10 years. For this, a strategic model was proposed based on the understanding of the current context, trends and best practices related to information systems, both internationally and at the national level. Because of the project it was defined that the SIAC "must become a specific entity or unit, with a high influence on decision-making, avant-garde with a vision of the future, with high credibility, with real execution capacity and, especially, with the vocation of be the central axis of information of the environmental sector in Colombia ".
The vision proposed for the SIAC, within the framework of the project, suggests the development of the following actions:
1. Convert it into a specific entity or unit
2. That it be conformed by a high-performance work team
3. Its main role should be the definition and custody of a meta-model of environmental information and knowledge
4. It must be developed through the definition and application of specific rules, standards and protocols
5. It must articulate with the other entities of the sector, generate interrelations with other sectors and promote the interrelation with society
6. Its main task, around the custody of the meta-model, will be in the intelligent data collection, the construction of a pertinent repository of information and the offer of a set of data by and for the sector.
7. Its great differentiator will be the creation and maintenance of information products and services, systemic, comprehensive, exhaustive, easy to use, innovative and replicable at different levels