Newsletter 46 – Baxter reaffirms its commitment with the communities and the environment
Through a user driven model of agriculture venture, in the last four years, 80 families of Valle del Cauca are moving toward organic farming, thanks to the ‘Agua para todos’ (Water for All) Partnership led by the ECOVIDA Corporation. This partnership aims to guarantee water and food security and alimentaria bringing a positive impact to 7 townships of Valle de Cauca located along the Western Mountain Chain, that feature dry rainforest (Cali, Dagua, Yumbo, La Cumbre, Vijes, Restrepo and Yotoco).
In Colombia, the access to water sources is jeopardized by activities such as mining, urban planning, the forestry farming of non-native species, non-sustainable agriculture, and the use of toxic chemicals that cause serious social, economic, and environmental effects. In areas such as Valle del Cauca which features several currents comprised by two watersheds -Pacific and Magdalena-, which has a direct impact on productive and domestic activities due to deforestation, water shortage, soil erosion, lack of water regulation, loss of biodiversity, and soil and water contamination.
Among the actions carried on water care, there’s the Remediation project for the Basins of the Arroyohondo and Cali Rivers, aiming to play a part in the recovery of the community’s natural and social and economic capital, through clear actions on Recovery, Remediation, Biodiversity, and Inclusiveness. The project goals include the environmental footprint offsetting by planting 60,000 trees over an extension of 50 hectares of water sources. To date, its 49,480 trees that have been planted by the Basins of the Arroyohondo and Cali Rivers. The long-term estimate is to achieve the conservation and recovery of the 20,000 forest hectares of priority areas in both municipalities.
This model has been joined by other associative groups of the region, such as: ECOHUERTERAS and CDMA which presently, are also members of the multisectoral partnership: AGUA PARA TODOS, led by ECOVIDA, with the support of the private sector, and most specifically by the Baxter company.
It is important to highlight that, in the inclusiveness component, gender equality is a paramount part of the Agua para Todos program. Right there, and through the Associative Groups of ASOHERBAL, ECOHUERTERAS and CDMA, attending women who are single mothers, receive technical advisory, school of leadership, planning, and organization, concerning the need to provide a healthy nutrition for their children thus improving their quality of life, and the economic condition of their families. This leads not only to the improvement of their nutritional status, but also the establishing of a sustainable organic food production endeavor for the merchandising of their harvest and sustenance of their households.
Invest Pacific partnered Baxter and the Yumbillo community, with the purpose to witness -live- the progress and transformation brought to communities through this initiative. During this time, we had the participation of Hernan Betancur- Baxter’s General Manager for Colombia and the South part of the Latin American Market, Andrea Catano – Director of Baxter’s Governance and Corporate Responsibility Affairs, and Joaquin Navia Ramirez, Chair of ECOVIDA Corporation.