Equitable Origin's Sebastián Pérez presents the EO system to representatives of OPIAC
Equitable Origin’s Pablo Yépez and Sebastián Pérez met with representatives from OPIAC, the Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon, in August 2014 to discuss the working relationship between the two organizations, share news and success stories, and to plan next steps in advancing mutual goals. Yépez, EO’s Director of Socio-Environmental Affairs, gave a presentation highlighting updates of EO’s work in Colombia such as the news of the Pacific Rubiales site's landmark certification under the EO100TM Standard. Johanna Rojas, representing OPIAC president Henry Cabría, expressed OPIAC’s willingness to support EO’s work in Colombia by reaching out to other indigenous organizations, such as ONIC (the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples of Colombia), and other indigenous communities in petroleum-producing regions of the country.
The meeting emphasized several key strategies for achieving of responsible development of oil reserves in Colombia, such as creating and sustaining linkages between government ministries, petroleum companies and indigenous organizations. OPIAC, for instance, maintains close relationships with Colombian national oil company Ecopetrol and the Ministry of the Interior, particularly in the area of indigenous relations. Relationships such as these can help initiate and formalize agreements, such as an initiative to conduct a three-way study and analysis of the application of the EO System to petroleum fields in territories where indigenous communities are located. For OPIAC, working with Equitable Origin can open doors to further opportunities with operating companies that may be interested in certifying themselves under the EO100 Standard and give indigenous groups greater effective participation. EO supports exactly this kind of multi-stakeholder consultation and participation in the development process from the grassroots level up to ensure that the development of oil and gas resources is better for the environment, better for communities, and better for producers.