On October 15, 2014, at the headquarters of the Coordinator of the Indigenous Nationalities of the Amazon Basin – COICA (by its Spanish acronym) in Quito, Ecuador, Equitable Origin hosted a workshop and launch event for the online consultation tool and comment period on the EO100™ Standard. Manuel Pallares, co-founder of Equitable Origin and Pablo Yépez, Equitable Origin’s Director of Socio-Environmental affairs led the event attended by leaders and experts from the Indigenous Organizations of the Ecuadorian Amazon, representatives from the petroleum industry, academics, and NGOs. As part of Equitable Origin’s inter-institutional approach to collaboration, this diverse group of attendees came from organizations such as the UN’s Project REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), the Interprovincial Federation of the Shuar Peoples (FICSH), the Association of Indigenous Communities of Arajuno (ACIA), the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Napo (FOIN), the Confederation of the Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), PROFAFOR, academics from the Universidad de San Francisco de Quito and the Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, and representatives from the petroleum company REPSOL. Technical liaison for CONFENIAE and friend of Equitable Origin Jhon Wajai also attended.
To kick off the presentation, Manuel Pallares explained how the EO system works and the extensive stakeholder engagement that went into the development of the EO100™ Standard. In this context and in the transparent and participatory framework for analyzing the content of the Standard, he invited the participants to visit the Online Consultation Tool webpage, so that all who were interested can subscribe and contribute to the revision of the EO100™ Standard, reminding them that the public comment period lasts 60 days and that the deadline for making comments and giving feedback is December 5, 2014. Manuel presented the homepage and the tutorial video for how to use the online consultation tool. At the end of the presentation, Manuel opened up the room for the questions about the EO System, the certification model, differences between other certification systems, and the revision process.
Leaders of the Indigenous Organizations pointed out the need to implement the EO100™ Standard in hydrocarbon operations that affect their territories as a mechanism to reduce the environmental and social impacts of oil and gas development and as a powerful tool to guarantee their effective participation in certain activities of the petroleum industry. The participation of diverse stakeholder groups was an important step in empowering individuals and organizations to act on these issues. The meeting reinforced stakeholders' shared responsibility to carry out the mission of bringing accountability and transparency to oil and gas development and further incorporate indigenous organizations into the Equitable Origin framework of participation and benefit sharing.