The region surrounding the Cañariaco project is rich in biodiversity. The region is characterized by wet grasslands in the higher altitudes, cloud forests in the middle altitudes, and cultivated land, currently used for grazing, in the lower altitudes. In 2007, Alta Copper initiated a comprehensive Environment Impact and Assessment Study under the direction of a leading international environmental consulting firm to assess, among other things, the biodiversity of the area. This study is ongoing but already it has given us a very good understanding of the scope of biodiversity around Cañariaco and the measures that must be taken to protect it. In addition, the findings are being compared with biodiversity assessments of other areas, which will ultimately leads to a significantly greater understanding of the biodiversity of the broader Northern Andes region.
Although the Cañariaco project is only in the exploration and development stage, an understanding of the biodiversity is critical in order to design our current work activities and future development programs in a manner that protects the plants and animals of the region.