Achieving this goal requires collaborative partnerships and active consultation with a range of stakeholders. Our Best Practices in External Affairs (BPEA) governs our community awareness programs, government relations and national content development. The BPEA process helps us identify the specific needs, expectations and interests of host communities and align these needs with our community investment efforts.
Through early external stakeholder engagement, we are able to identify community concerns and implement mitigation measures during the project planning phase. By attempting to address these issues up-front, we are able to minimize community concerns throughout the life of the project.
Ensuring mutual understanding, trust and respect in our stakeholder relationships means that interested parties are represented as project agreements are established. Once a project starts, we provide local groups and individuals with a communication channel to voice and resolve concerns related to a development project without fear of retribution. Our Upstream Socioeconomic Management Standard includes provisions for establishing a systematic and transparent grievance process.
For example, at our Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project, we apply an approach consistent with International Finance Corporation Performance Standards to identify and manage community grievances. The project provides numerous mechanisms for receiving grievances from members of the community, such as the use of grievance cards by the project team when they are interacting with communities. The public can also submit grievances in writing, in person or over the telephone. As may be expected with a project of this scale and complexity, and in a country with customary land rights, many community concerns relate to compensation for land access. Additionally, community members raised concerns about environment- and economic-related issues.
We review all grievances and capture them in a centralized database that coordinates and manages grievances through to their closure. Once a grievance is closed, the project team evaluates the effectiveness of the resolution. The team also conducts weekly reviews of the grievance process looking for trends, lessons learned and opportunities for improvement.
As activities continue in Papua New Guinea, the project team has been engaging with communities to build relationships and trust to ensure all grievances are addressed both appropriately and in a timely manner.