Carolina Romero, Lawyer.

Letter of support from Carolina Romero, Lawyer.

Oct 03, 2023

Diana Carolina Romero Ramirez Bogotá, Colombia

Andrea (Drea) Burbank, MD CEO, Savimbo Inc. Carrera 6 - Numero #3-21, Villagarzon, Putumayo, Colombia

Re: Savimbo Biodiversity Methodology

Savimbo Inc.

As a legal professional with expertise in procedural law, contractual law, and legal negotiation, and a master's degree in public management, with over ten (10) years of experience working with rural communities, particularly with Indigenous groups in defending territories and environmental protection areas, I would like to endorse the biodiversity program and methodology proposed by Savimbo Inc., to be developed in Colombian territory, as a project based on the conservation of the Amazon and socioeconomic support for the resident population in the area.

Considering that the program includes a conservation agreement between the Company and the owners or occupants of the territories, allowing them as a negotiating tool to be key actors in the arrangement of activities related to the conservation (preservation, use, and management) of certain resources. As a legal professional with extensive experience in legal representation and defense of community interests in Colombia, especially in the Department of Putumayo, I see the opportunity for environmental protection and the transversal growth of the region's economy with SAVIMBO.

The methodology is designed to be voluntarily embraced by each owner and/or occupant or leader of Indigenous or farming groups, with significant strengths in generating and restoring connectivity between different properties that were previously isolated by landscape fragmentation, promoting the recovery of watersheds, natural ecosystems, and movement corridors for wildlife. It increases the interest of communities in conserving and improving environmental management on their land, allows socially and economically marginalized Indigenous and farming groups to be protagonists of the program, learn about the importance of caring for their natural habitat, preserves endangered or threatened species, and leaves a capacity installed in the territory for the future implementation of similar processes. Additionally, it promotes conservation activities through the use of a productive language that is more appealing to rural communities and sparks interest in other territories or groups to be part of conservation agreements or similar conservation mechanisms.

Furthermore, the biodiversity program has a simple and clear methodology for application by communities with low academic levels but with extensive native, traditional, and natural knowledge, valuable for the purpose of the project. It also has a balanced and fair agreement of wills from a legal perspective, instilling confidence in the linked owners or occupants.

The biodiversity methodology established by SAVIMBO in Colombia is in line with Law 99 of 1993 and its regulatory decrees, which creates the Ministry of the Environment, reorganizes the public sector responsible for environmental management and conservation of renewable natural resources, organizes the National Environmental System, SINA, and issues other provisions, harmonizing with environmental general principles and policies. The program is adjusted to the reality of the territories, with a high probability of success in its application, as it was developed according to the peasant and Indigenous knowledge as natural protectors of their territories. It allows landowners or occupants to apply their traditional knowledge, making the development of this methodology easily embraced by Indigenous or farming groups from different territories who can be part of the environmental guardians and protectors of the fauna and flora of their territories.

Moreover, several aspects of the methodology have been intentionally designed to allow the inclusion of threatened lands and market scaling while providing direct market access to Indigenous groups and small farmers.

The Biodiversity program is more flexible for engagement than the carbon credit program, as it not only allows landowners or property owners to join but also holders, tenants, or administrators of the land subject to the program, as well as individuals or organizations with any direct relationship with the land, without necessarily being the legal relationship of ownership.

The biodiversity methodology, in line with the laws and regulations, has prior detailed studies on the existing species in the area and their possibilities of survival, as well as the study of the human resources available for conservation activities and their customs as peoples, where nothing is imposed but adapted to the needs of their population.

Within this framework, I must also highlight the work of monitoring the biodiversity that exists in these areas and projecting the appearance of species in the area, with a methodology for photographic and audiovisual registration in accordance with the law and regulations, with authorizations for data processing, assignment of copyright and/or intellectual property.

Finally, I will be ready to address any legal inquiries regarding the biodiversity methodology and its legal applicability in Colombia.


CAROLINA ROMERO RAMIREZ Attorney ID 222.665 from the Council of the Judiciary Director CR&ABOGADOS

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