We typically conduct community development initiatives when we act as the operator of a client’s asset.
Our community development programmes are based on comprehensive socio-economic assessments conducted in consultation with host communities. They focus on initiatives that have the greatest potential for securing a positive and enduring benefit for the community, for example in the areas of livelihoods support, education and health.
Most of our investments are in community development initiatives in Mexico and Tunisia, where we operate long-term production sharing and production enhancement contracts.
For several years, we were particularly active in Mexico, and invested millions of dollars (75% of which is cost recoverable) in a range of projects related to sustainable livelihoods.
In 2016, the amount we spent dropped to US$2.2 million from US$2.6 million in 2015, reflecting a reduction in our activities as we continue to negotiate the migration of our Production Enhancement Contracts to Production Sharing Contracts.
Supporting cocoa farmers in Mexico
We provide support to cocoa farmers living within the Santuario concession area in order to enhance productivity and income from their cocoa plantations. More than 450 farmers are benefiting from the project, which is run in partnership with the municipal authorities and MaxiTerra, an organisation with expertise in increasing cocoa yields and providing access to sustainable markets for the cocoa that farmers produce.
This community development project involves providing technical assistance, provision of equipment and other inputs, as well as technology to enable small holders to maximise the household income from this important crop.
In Tunisia, 2016 was marred by significant community and social unrest linked to the local economic situation. This resulted in lengthy suspensions of our operations. As a consequence, our expenditure dropped from US$334,000 in 2015 to US$80,000 in 2016.
In order to reach a sustainable solution and to understand how we can best contribute to a lasting agreement between all parties, we engaged extensively with community groups and local stakeholders.