Members of the ExxonMobil Madagascar venture office recently joined several government officials and local business leaders to plant trees in an event organized by the Office of National Mines and Strategic Industries (OMNIS). Following a warm welcome by OMNIS Director Bonaventure Rasoanaivo on a hillside 30 kilometers south of the capital of Antananarivo, a member of the Environment Ministry gave a brief demonstration on tree planting. Everyone got to work quickly, and by lunch, the entire hillside was covered with 3,500 new evergreen seedlings.
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This project will help to prevent hillside erosion and provide valuable materials for nearby communities. In his inauguration speech in January, the new President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina, encouraged the whole country to become involved in reforestation efforts.
“This was a great opportunity for us to support our colleagues at OMNIS and the people of Madagascar,” Lead Country Manager Peter Claypool said. “We are very much aligned on the need to develop the country’s hydrocarbon resources in a responsible manner, while protecting the unique and diverse environment here in Madagascar.”
For the venture office team in Antananarivo, preparations for the tree planting event began earlier in the week with a risk assessment (RA) and journey management plan (JMP). “Our staff here also alerted us to potential risks ranging from local insects to sun exposure, " Peter Claypool said. "By participating in the RA and JMP, everyone in the office gained a stronger appreciation and understanding for the processes that support ExxonMobil’s commitment to safety.”
With the new trees in the ground, the ExxonMobil team joined the other participants at the top of the hill to enjoy a customary Malagasy meal of rice and beef, capped by fresh-cut pineapple provided by members of the local community.