The International Finance Corporation (IFC) highlighted a ISAGEN’s project which improved the quality of life in rural communities.
ISAGEN’s Miel Project was catalogued as a multi-faceted local benefit-sharing program in a post-conflict project environment, according to a press release.
Miel is a 396MW hydropower plant located on Colombia’s La Miel River, owned and operated by ISAGEN.
“The project undertakes an extensive set of voluntary benefit sharing measures in addition to ongoing mandatory environmental and social compensation,” IFC highlighted.
The entity said that mitigation and compensation measures address both upstream flooding and downstream flow changes. The main benefit-sharing components include a program for development of communities (PDC), territorial partnerships, good neighbor actions and coexistence and human rights.
“Over the last 15 years ISAGEN helped our village with many processes. We have always been good neighbors. As a leader, ISAGEN carries out social investment projects which we know very well are voluntary. We have received so much; we are so happy,” a community leader in La Habana village said.
PDC is ISAGEN’s largest community development program. Its focus is on building local capacity in surrounding villages; supporting initiatives to improve sanitation, health, education, and productivity; and promoting sports and cultural activities.
“The community itself was involved early in the planning for this extensive program. The approach called for communities and organizations to decide on their own priorities, developing proposals and implementing projects, managed through local community action boards, whose members are elected by villagers,” IFC explained.
As of 2019, the program’s reach extended to 139 communities across all ISAGEN project areas. In the immediate vicinity of Miel, the program started with about 20 villages; today, it includes 34.
Bottom-Line: ISAGEN becomes a worldwide example of how to manage relationships with communities and help the growth and development of the regions where it operates.
Many companies in the country should follow the ISAGEN’s example and apply the lessons learned.