Communities

Community Workshops

Reaching communities that neighbor existing or planned energy development has been a core consultation strategy for Equitable Origin, especially considering that people without access to the Internet are unable to submit comments online during public comment periods. During the initial consultation on the EO100™ Standard, Equitable Origin organized workshops in traditional format and in local indigenous languages to socialize the concept of an independent certification system, to solicit advice on the design of the system and to learn about specific social and environmental issues associated with energy development projects.

Since March 2010, we have held more than 70 workshops with local and indigenous communities affected by oil and gas exploration and production. Because of the decades of oil and gas development in Ecuador, many of these workshops were held in Ecuador's hydrocarbon regions, including Lago Agrio, Coca, Macas, Zamora, Puyo, Morona, Archidona and, Tena, as well as a regional workshop in Cumbayá in the vicinity of Quito that brought together Indigenous Peoples leaders of all the oil regions of Ecuador.

With the help of the Coordinating Organization of Indigenous Communities of the Amazon Basin (COICA) and Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Basin of Ecuador (CONFENIAE) we held consultations with representatives of a variety of Indigenous communities including the Achuar, Sápara, Shiviar, Shuar, Secoya, Kichwa, Cofan, Waorani and Siona.

These workshops, along with national and international outreach efforts, enabled us to build a database of 1,500 individual and institutional stakeholders who participated during the public consultation and comment period and facilitated our ongoing efforts to engage people, communities, and organizations affected by energy development.

Organizing Partner: AIDESEP
Dates: October 22 and 23, 2015
Location: Lima, Peru
Event Summary: EO co-hosted a first-of-its kind event in Lima in what we hope will prove to be the first step on a new path for responsible and inclusive energy development in the indigenous territories of Peru. The forum's agenda ranged from scientific and technical discussions about the impacts of oil and gas development to a presentation on the EO system to Q&A with a Vice-Minister of culture from the Peruvian government. Presenters represented NGOs, international development funds, government agencies, oil and gas industry groups, and AIDESEP member organizations. For the first time in the country's history, the three key stakeholders in Peruvian oil and gas development--government, industry, and Indigenous Peoples--and international organizations came together to pursue a more responsible, equitable, and inclusive future.

More information on the EO blog

Organizing Partner: Comuna San Jacinto del Pindo de Pastaza
Dates: May 2015
Location: Puyo, Ecuador
Event Summary: Senior Advisor, Rene Ortiz and Director of Socio-environmental Affairs, Pablo Yépez represented EO at the stakeholder engagement workshop, which also included technical staff for the indigenous organization along with the group’s president, Gina Tibi. The meeting was held to discuss the development of oil bloc 28 in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the potential for EO certification to ensure responsible extraction. The meeting was of particular importance given the looming prospects of the companies soon extracting hydrocarbons from piece of land in southeastern Ecuador known as bloc 28. The response to the presentations from the audience was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the members of the group were so receptive to the presentations and the answers to their questions offered by Ortiz and Yepez, they agreed to try to use EO100™ certification as a prerequisite for any further development in their territory.

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Organizing Partner: Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE)
Dates: January 13-15, 2015
Location: Esmereldas, Ecuador
Event Summary: Equitable Origin convened a meeting in Ecuador’s coastal province of Esmeraldas with leaders and representatives of a number of indigenous groups in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The purpose of the meeting was to consult with indigenous groups of the region on the EO100™ Standard, collect input on the impacts of oil and gas industry activity in the region, and discuss the effects of low oil prices on the responsible production practices. The workshop included a close examination and discussion of the EO100™ Standard. EO staff and advisors explained the various principles and guidelines of the Standard, and CONFENIAE representatives offered their input.

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Organizing Partner: RESOLVE
Dates: November 20, 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Event Summary: Equitable Origin brought together a diverse group of stakeholders for a consultation on the EO100™ Standard. The event included a screening of "Oil and Water" and group discussions that focused on three main issues addressed in the EO100™ Standard for responsible oil and gas development: revenue transparency and governance, biodiversity, and the human rights concern of the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) applied for the most part to Indigenous Peoples. EO President and Co-Founder David Poritz, Vice President of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills, and Director of Communications Josh Garrett were present at the event. Attendees included representatives of environmental and human rights NGOs, government agencies, and private companies working in the oil and gas sector. The purpose of the event, which was part of the current EO100™ public comment period, was to gather expert input on the focus areas of the standard and use that input to improve the standard as it undergoes a review and revision process that will continue into 2015.

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Organizing Partner: FENAMAD, the Native Federation of the River and Tributaries of Madre de Dios
Dates: November 3-5, 2014
Location: Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Event Summary: This meeting was called to discuss the applicability of the EO100™ Standard in the Madre de Dios region, where proposals for oil and gas development of Lot 76 have come under increasing scrutiny and caused considerable controversy between indigenous groups, NGOs, government ministries and private oil companies. Located deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Lot 76 straddles three provinces and overlaps four protected natural areas, covering nearly all of the Amarakaeri Community Reserve, an area designated for its rich biodiversity and the historic cultural patrimony of several indigenous communities. Representatives from various local, regional and national organizations attended the important meeting including AIDESEP, COINBAMAD, the Indigenous Council of the Lower Madre de Dios, COHARYIMA (Harakbut Council), the Amarakaeri Community Reserve, and the Ministry of the Environment of Peru to discuss the impacts of oil and gas development in the Amazon.

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Organizing Partner: Organizing Partner: NAFTA Office Representative in the Ministry of Economy of the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa
Dates: October 23, 2014
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Event Summary: EO VP of Standards and Stakeholder Engagement Soledad Mills joined business and government stakeholders in Ottawa, Canada last month to discuss social and environmental standards in the energy sector. Minister Mario Rodríguez, Head of the NAFTA Office Representative in the Ministry of Economy of the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa. Participants, including government and business leaders, discussed alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, challenges related to transparency, flexibility with regards to national interpretation, consideration of gender issues and the application of standards in project finance. Mr. Rodríguez congratulated Pacific Rubiales Energy on their achievement and encouraged the company to consider applying the EO100™ Standard to projects they may enter into in Mexico. Mr. Rodríguez also stressed the need to have a framework for addressing North American energy development that respects workers, local communities and the environment, especially in light of the energy reforms underway in Mexico.

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Organizing Partner: Coordinator of the Indigenous Nationalities of the Amazon Basin (COICA)
Dates: October 15, 2014
Location: Quito, Ecuador
Event Summary: Equitable Origin hosted a workshop and launch event for the online consultation tool and comment period on the EO100™ Standard. During the event, attended by leaders and experts from the Indigenous Organizations of the Ecuadorian Amazon, representatives from the petroleum industry, academics, and NGOs, Equitable Origin co-founder 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.

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Organizing Partner: Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of the East (ORPIO) the regional subsidiary of the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP)
Dates: September 1-3, 2014
Location: Iquitos, Peru
Event Summary: AIDESEP, seeking effective participation from the Indigenous organizations which it represents in Loreto, collaborated with Equitable Origin to conduct a three-day workshop. The workshop was successful in fulfilling its agenda, explaining the design and development of the EO100™ Standard and the EO Certification System for oil and gas activities. The second day consisted of going over the principles, provisions and first-level performance targets of the EO100™ Standard and discussing and commenting on the scope of the content. The workshop finished discussing the Standard on the third day and moved on to evaluations and reflections on the meeting by the participants.

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Organizing Partner: Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association
Dates: August 22 and 23, 2014
Location: Punta Gorda, Belize
Event Summary: Meetings took place in the town of Punta Gorda, near the Sarstoon-Temash National Park in southern Belize, where approximately 35 indigenous communities in the area have been fighting for land rights for almost three decades. The purpose of the trip was to discuss the use of the EO100™ Standard in negotiations over oil and gas exploration in the Sarstoon-Temash national park, where exploration activities began in the mid-2000s, negatively impacting Maya land and communities, without consultation or consent from indigenous peoples. The event with Equitable Origin consisted of a detailed presentation on the EO100™ Standard and examples of good practices, as well as a screening of the documentary film Oil & Water The groups who attended the meeting found many similarities between their own experiences with oil and gas activities and those of the Cofán, and thanked EO for the presentation.

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Organizing Partner: COICA and CONFENIAE
Dates: July 31 and August 1, 2014
Location: San Pablo, Ecuador
Event Summary: Participation in the workshop was part of EO's ongoing engagement with communities affected by oil & gas development to raise awareness of the EO100™ Standard and to collect experiences and concerns that can help improve the Standard. About 30 people attended the workshop, including representatives of the Siekopai, Siona, Cofán, Wuaorani, Kichwa, Shuar and Achuar indigenous nationalities. The aim of these meetings was to gather communities interested in and affected by the social and environmental impacts of oil & gas development, and introduce them to the potential uses of the EO100™ Standard in forming a basis for negotiating better practices.

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Organizing Partner: Indigenous Zone Organization of Putumayo (OZIP)
Dates: April 9 and 10, 2014
Location: Orito, Putumayo, Colombia
Event Summary: Equitable Origin inaugurated the Awareness and Empowerment Workshop for the use and application of the EO100™ Standard as a useful tool for indigenous organizations in managing hydro-carbon activities within their territories. In total, 71 representatives belonging to various indigenous nations including Awá, Inga, Kamentzá, Pastos, Pijaos, Cofanes, Embera y Murui attended the two-day workshop. The workshop was used as a space for participative engagement and dialogue where relevant actors could advise and voice concerns regarding the EO100™ Standard and the process of renegotiating the relationships between local communities and the oil and gas industry.

More information on the EO blog