We typically conduct community development initiatives when we act as the operator of a client’s asset.
Where our operations are located close to local communities, we generally work with stakeholders to plan and implement initiatives that will benefit local people, such as skills training, creating opportunities for local labour, and investing in local supply chains.
In 2018, a key theme has been to strengthen partnerships with local stakeholders, and encourage local communities to take the lead in development programmes that we fund.
Our approach to active community engagement was particularly evident in Mexico, where we opened a new field office in Santuario to support our new Production Sharing Contracts and the additional responsibilities entailed. This new open-door facility provides local communities and property owners with up-to-date project information, clarity on grievance procedures, and opportunities for involvement in social programmes.
In Tabasco State, all development programmes are now being determined by local communities, with local authorities partnering on their implementation. In 2019, this approach will be extended, by helping municipalities to establish and fund their own Municipal Development Plans.
Also in Tabasco State, we developed a new online database to improve access to information on issues such as land access rights, land contracts, past incidents, and grievances. This should improve the speed and consistency of our related community engagement.
During 2018, our total community development investment for Mexico amounted to US$400,000 (75% of which is cost recoverable), compared with US$1.8 million in 2017, the reduction reflecting the continued strategy of divesting non-core assets.
We continued to support a number of public infrastructure, local industry and community projects to support our Tunisian operations, located in the Kerkennah Islands, until handover to their new operator.
The total investment was around US$200,000. This included improvements to 12 local schools, the purchase of new boat engines for 20 local fishermen, and the installation of new photovoltaic street lights across the main island to improve security across several poorly-lit public areas.