We believe in having continuous engagement with communities to obtain public input and improve efficiency, transparency, and public involvement in our projects.
There are a number of stakeholders that should be consulted during any onshore or offshore projects. MPRL E&P engages with diverse groups ranging from small and large landowners, fisherman, and farmers. We believe consultation is important in establishing effective communication and partnerships. Our approach to consultation is transparent, inclusive, and culturally appropriate.
Prior to initiating consultation activities, MPRL E&P takes the following into consideration:
- Community decision-making conventions and protocols
- Accessibility to information including information relating to impacts and mitigation measures
- Capturing the needs of all groups including those that are marginalized or vulnerable
MPRL E&P’s consultation activities include:
- Information disclosure
- Community led participatory engagement
- Development of strategic partnerships
Recently, a community consultation on Environmental and Social Impact Assessments for our onshore block IOR-6 was conducted. The consultation activity took place with local government representatives and project affected communities.
|IOR – 6||MPRL E&P commissioned Environmental Resources Management (ERM), supported by local specialists from Resource and Environment Myanmar (REM), to conduct impact assessments in the project area.
A total of 8 workshops were conducted between 15th and 16th December 2015 primarily with host communities, MOGE Representatives, and Township Authorities. The purpose of the workshops was to provide primary stakeholders with the opportunity to understand and provide feedback on the findings, risks, and impacts identified in the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Report on seismic and work over activities in block IOR-6.
Primary stakeholders conveyed a number of suggestions to positively influence the intended operations and to mitigate the associated environmental and social risks. Suggestions that have been found beneficial include the following:
|A-6||2 consultations held in Pathein, Chaungthar, and Shwe Thaungyan. Stakeholders included Ayerwaddy Ministries, relevant general admin, Department of Tourism, Department of Fisheries, fisherman and fishing associations and civil society organizations.
Follow-up were consultations held with communities and township authorities from Nga Yoke Kaung Bay. MPRL E&P along with community based volunteers from Mann field initiated workshops with the following stakeholders:
6 hamlets forming Nant Thar Pu village group were invited to attend the workshop to receive information on the company and project. Stories were shared to illustrate the company’s community approach previously adopted in Mann field. Volunteers were encouraged to share their experience with MPRL E&P, including challenges and success stories.
MPRL E&P Completed ESIA Disclosure for Block IOR-6
Primary stakeholders conveyed a number of suggestions to positively influence the intended operations and to mitigate the associated environmental and social risks.Read more
MPRL E&P Completed ESIA Disclosure for Block IOR-6
Primary stakeholders conveyed a number of suggestions to positively influence the intended operations and to mitigate the associated environmental and social risks.
Myanmar’s approach to public participation is changing rapidly. Currently, there are a number of civil society organizations that have become vocal about their rights, their concerns, as well as their demand to information. Their change in behavior is expected, reflecting the country’s approach to adopting new regulations, policies, and procedures. Myanmar is on the path towards developing into a nation that is listening to its people. Government representatives are now having conversations and fruitful discussions concerning human rights. These changes reflect the need for the private sector to get involved, to add to discussions, and where possible positively influence how regulations are implemented and reviewed. All stakeholders should be engaging with one another to identify best practices in hopes of developing a Myanmar model to public participation and consultation.
Just recently, the Myanmar Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) adopted its Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures. Part of the procedures identified, require the project proponent to engage with stakeholders on multiple levels utilizing various communication channels that provide accessibility to an Environmental and Social Impact report.
It is evident that there is a general lack of understanding of public and/or a community/affected person about what an EIA is and is not. In the past, there have been examples of communities who have refused to participate in EIA consultations because they appear to believe that if an EIA consultation was carried out this would mean the project would go ahead resulting in disrupting or boycotting consultation initiatives. There are a number of legacy issues that exist within this context, that hinder effective engagement with affected communities.
Public participation and stakeholder engagement is an important element of the ESIA process. The core objectives of any disclosure workshop should be to initiate communication with primary and secondary stakeholders, provide an overview of the reporting process, and in particular, an update of the proposed mitigation plans associated with intended seismic and work over activities.
MPRL E&P believes that stakeholder engagement is an important tool for building strong, constructive, and responsive relationships that are essential for the successful management of a project’s environmental and social impact. As a result, enhancing good dialogue manages relationships especially those with competing values. Stakeholder engagement is an ongoing process that may involve stakeholder analysis, disclosure of information, consultation and participation, community grievance mechanisms, reporting to stakeholders, and monitoring engagement. Taking into consideration our best practices and lessons learned from Mann Field, we made the decision to conduct a total of 9 workshops in Myanaung and Yangon with affected communities from block IOR-6. The purpose of the workshop was to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to understand and provide feedback on the findings, risks, and impact identified in the ESIA report for block IOR-6 – confirming findings initially identified in the public consultation meeting facilitated by ERM. Discussions held proved effective as stakeholders conveyed a number of suggestions that have positively influenced the design and implementation of intended operations.
The disclosure process held with host communities confirmed the following concerns, impact on water resources, process and procedures for land acquisition, calculations for crop compensations, loss of livelihoods, and importance of continuous engagement.
Following community meetings, a workshop was held in Yangon with civil society, MCRB, Center for Human Rights and Business, as well as government representatives. The intent of the workshop was to establish direct communication with CSOs, in particular representatives of the Ayeyarwady Region, providing them the opportunity to emphasize, discuss, and raise concerns and/or questions.
The EIA process as well technical activities related to our industry is a new and foreign concept to many communities. Instead of keeping key stakeholders in the dark, it makes business sense to include them in the decision making process, share key information, and work towards developing 2-way communication and trust. Ultimately, in the long term, a strong dialogue and relationship will result in effectively implementing activities and mitigating impact more efficiently.
Consultation in Nga Yoke Kaung Bay - An Effort to Be a Good Neighbor
Effective consultation prior to the implementation of projects enables companies to establish a foundation for building strong, constructive, and responsive relationships that are essential for the successful management of a project’s environmental and social impact.Read more
Consultation in Nga Yoke Kaung Bay - An Effort to Be a Good Neighbor Effective consultation prior to the implementation of projects enables companies to establish a foundation for building strong, constructive, and responsive relationships that are essential for the successful management of a project’s environmental and social impact.
Sometimes good, friendly neighbors are hard to come by and a good neighbor goes along way. A good neighbor is considerate, notices who and what is around you, takes the time to talk and reach out to connect. Most importantly, good neighbors are respectful and help each other.
Based on the values of what define a good neighbor, MPRL E&P and its CSR Department along with community based volunteers from Mann field, traveled to Nga Yoke Kaung Bay, along the west coast of Myanmar, to introduce themselves as ‘new neighbors’ to the area.
There are not many companies that are comfortable or confident to conduct consultation on their own let alone before the commencement of an ESIA. The consultation with Nga Yoke Kaung was challenging yet rewarding primarily because two community based volunteers traveled from Magwe to the coast for the first time.
These volunteers were able to stand up in front of strangers in a territory they were unfamiliar with and provided their opinions on MPRL E&P including the many challenges and successes they’ve had working alongside the company as representatives of their community.
Focusing on similarities showed that we intend to be good neighbors because we were considerate, took the time to connect, and respected the community’s opinions and environment.