Colombia’s largest oil and gas company, Ecopetrol, has teamed up with two environmental organizations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country.
In a statement released Thursday, the state-directed oil and gas giant Ecopetrol announced that it had reached an agreement with National Parks of Colombia, and the Nature Foundation, to reduce CO2 in Colombia by 220,000 tons.
The agreement consists of seven joint initiatives which aim to reduce CO2 emissions, including planting nearly a 1,000 hectares of trees, and preventing the degradation of at least 2,000 hectares of forest.
The three groups will invest nearly six million dollars over a three year period, with Ecopetrol contributing a larger share.
MORE: Ecopetrol represented $17B in 2013 Colombia government revenue
In addition to curbing the effects of climate change, the project also intends to support the development of technical knowledge regarding the restoration of forests and local eco-systems.
According to the statement, the project will rely upon the traditional knowledge of local communities to implement forest management strategies, and hopes to encourage people to become involved in restoration activities within their communities. The members of the project will also publish information about the processes used to recover the vulnerable ecosystems.
The project’s sponsors also intend to collaborate with small private landowners in the areas of focus, to increase the impact of forest restoration activities.
“The idea is to support projects and actions that reduce the impacts of climate change and contribute to the goals and actions established by the national government in the National Development Plan and in international accords the country has signed and ratified,” Ecopetrol CEO Javier Gutierrez said.
The project’s success will be measured by both national and international bodies.
In 2013, Ecopetrol contributed over $17 billion to government revenue, according to El Espactador newspaper.
Ecopetrol reportedly represents over 60% of Colombia’s total oil and gas production. It is the fourth largest oil and gas producer in Latin America and is among the top 50 energy companies in the world.